Antoine Walker made more headlines in the past year outside of the NBA than he did during his last couple of seasons in the League.
Following his last official NBA appearance in February 2008, ‘Toine was back in the headlines last year when news began to spread that — despite earning about $108 million in salary over his career — he was having money problems. ESPN did an “Outside the Lines” special about the former All-Star’s financial troubles, which included writing bad checks to a casino and failed investments. At the time, ‘Toine was playing pro ball in Puerto Rico. Then Walker’s ex-fiancee was one of the stars of the “Basketball Wives” reality show, putting his name in the spotlight again.
After filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, ‘Toine announced he was attempting a comeback to the NBA. He worked out at the University of Louisville, dropping about 20 pounds, and this morning it’s been reported by ESPN that Walker is going to join the Charlotte Bobcats for pickup games leading into training camp.
So far there isn’t an official invite to camp on the table, but new Bobcats owner Michael Jordan seems to be in reclamation-project mode: Signing former No. 1 draft pick Kwame Brown and inviting former No. 3 draft pick Darius Miles to Charlotte camp. And besides Jordan, who used to regularly train with Walker in Chicago, ‘Toine has another advocate in Bobcats center Nazr Mohammad, one of his best friends from college.
It wouldn’t hurt anybody (except another younger player who could have been given that spot) to give Walker a shot in training camp; if he’s in shape, he could find a role on a team as a long-range shooting threat and veteran influence with championship experience.
What do you think? Would you give ‘Toine a chance?