Bradley impressed by fans' reaction to Antoine Walker

Bradley impressed by fans' reaction to Antoine Walker
February 14, 2013, 4:04 pm
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BOSTON -- Avery Bradley watched as fans upon fans expressed their admiration for the former veteran NBA player.

In spite of what has happened since he left the league, they remembered the highlights of the years he spent on the Boston Celtics -- the playoff runs, the big games, and of course, the shimmies.

On Tuesday night Bradley was joined by Antoine Walker for an adidas Retro Real Deal autograph signing at Concepts in Cambridge. Bradley was taken aback by the overwhelmingly positive response Walker received from his fans.

"It was crazy to see how (they) reacted to him, the stories people were telling him, how nice he was," the Celtics guard told prior to their game against the Bulls. "One kid was like, 'You've been my favorite player since I was eight. I met you and you were so nice to me.' I know it was weird for him to see them come back to see him, for them to say how nice he was then, because everybody else could have just walked past him but they stopped . . . People still had his jerseys."

Bradley, 22, grew up watching Walker, now 36, and was in high school when Walker played his last NBA game. Years later, Bradley now sits in the same locker room the former forward occupied for eight seasons, a commonality he calls, "crazy."

"Of course (I followed his career,)" said Bradley. "He was a great player. He still is a great player. From all the stories I've heard from everybody, they say he's a great guy. Even from last night, I got to see it's true."

Since leaving the league, Walker's storyline has focused around his battles with bankruptcy and legal issues. Not on Tuesday, though. That night was about Walker reconnecting with the those who still appreciate what he brought to the court.

"It shows what kind of fans we (the Celtics) have, first of all," said Bradley. "And it shows what kind of person he was."