At the end of November, we told you that Antoine Walker was taking his talents to the D-League. Tonight, that journey begins. Suiting up for the Idaho Stampede (who are currently 0-7 on the young season), ‘Toine will take on the Dakota Wizards in Boise. Not that you’d be surprised, but the 12-year NBA veteran has his sights set on making it back to the Big Show.
“My dream is to play in the NBA,” Walker told Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman. “I left the game at the wrong time. I want to leave the game on my own merit. … This is the perfect stepping stone to see if I can still be competitive and play at that level.
“I’m here to play.”
While Walker’s intentions to make a comeback have been known for some time, the delay was because he had to pass through waivers. As the only winless team in the D-League, Idaho had the top waiver position, one the Stampede and coach Randy Livingston kept by passing on other players to wait for Walker.
“Antoine brings leadership, and he’s seen it all,” Livingston told Matthew Brennan of D-League.com. “He’s multi-talented, he can handle the ball, post up, shoot threes, and just bring that calming presence that we’ve been missing early on this season. Someone that can calm down our young guys and reel them back in to the point where we can win some games. I think he still a lot to give to the game in terms of playing for his own personal reasons, so I think it’s going to be a win-win situation for our team going forward.”
“I had opportunities to go overseas, but I turned them down,” continued Walker. “I think this is the best place to play, I love the competition. There’s a lot of young guys that come down here from the NBA, and I think if I have any aspirations to play I need to be competitive with them.”
You can watch the game live (and free) on NBA Futurecast tonight at 9:00pm EST.
What do you think? Will Walker make it back to the NBA?
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