Daniels remembers Walker as 'a good mentor'


Daniels remembers Walker as 'a good mentor'

BOSTON Antoine Walker's playing career is over now, which is somewhat surprising when you consider the 35-year-old Walker is less than a year older than Celtics Captain Paul Pierce.

There's no way to ignore the fact that Walker, who recently announced his retirement, has made his share of mistakes both on and off the court.

But during his 12 NBA seasons (seven with the Celtics), Walker did make an impact - a positive impact - on a number of players.

Current Celtic Marquis Daniels is one of them.

The two first got to know each other when both played for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2003-2004 season.

Daniels was an undrafted rookie out of Auburn while Walker was the veteran that took Daniels under his wing.

"Antoine, he was a good mentor for me," Daniels told CSNNE.com. "He showed me a lot of things, being a point-forward too, that really helped me adjust to the NBA, like moving the ball, getting the team in the offense, just preparing for games. He showed me a lot of the stuff that coming in to the league as a rookie, you would need to know."

And while there are many who now frown upon how badly things have gone for Walker in both his personal and professional life, Daniels isn't one of them.

He has nothing but positive memories of Walker as a teammate.

"Antoine is the type of guy that would give you the shirt off his back," Daniels said. "He's a great guy. People only see the bad. They don't see all the good that he did. He did a lot of great things when I was around him, like charity events in Dallas."

Unfortunately, few recall that side of Walker when his name comes up on conversation.

"One bad thing seems to out-weigh a million good things," Daniels said. "But in my book, he's a great guy."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn't spend much time with Walker, having coached him for just half a season in 2005.

Still, he was around him long enough to develop a soft spot for how quickly things in his life went south.

"When any of that stuff happens to any athlete," Rivers said, "it doesn't even have to be basketball, it always tugs at your heart in my opinion, because they've worked so hard to get ahead and then when things don't go right for them, it really does. It bothers you."

Walker averaged 17.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his 12 NBA seasons which included two separate stints (1996-2003, 2005) with the Celtics who drafted him with the sixth overall pick out of Kentucky in 1996. A three-time All-Star (all with the Celtics), Walker also played for Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and Minnesota.

Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut


Wednesday, Oct. 26: Crosby scores in season debut

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while having a deep thought while watching commercials: how lost in your own quirkiness do you have to be to name your kid Beowulf?

*The Predators had a nasty case of food poisoning hit their team, and Adam Vingan has all the gory details.

*A great chat with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jimmy Murphy and the legendary Russ Conway about the legendary Bobby Orr.

*Martin Biron says that Frederik Andersen looks like a much different player now with Toronto than he did with the Anaheim Ducks last season.

*An observation from a Tuesday with 1,000 decisions is that Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff has a really tough job.

*As mentioned above, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is having a tough time in his new locale, and there may be several reasons why.

*An early Christmas present for Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop would be his two front teeth.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Sidney Crosby returning on Tuesday night, and immediately leading the Penguins in a balanced attack.  

*For something completely different: A. Sherrod Blakely has his Celtics preview, and says it’s a new year with tons of new expectations for the Men in Green.