Antoine Walker's star has fallen, far from the high life of the NBA; fans know it, decision makers know it, he knows it.
Part One of Greg Dickerson's two-part interview with Antoine Walker
The fall was quick, catalyzed by gambling debt and money squandered in bad real estate deals. It is the attempted climb back to the show that separates Walker from others.
The former Celtics All-Star now plays for the NBDL's Boise Stampede, a team typically reserved for youthful players hoping to latch on with an NBA franchise. That goal also belongs to Walker, 34, who believes he can still contribute in the world's greatest basketball league.
He has shown flashes in the NBDL, scoring over 25 points in a handful of games for the Stampede. But the competition is considered watered-down, and NBA executives have their reasons for being wary of Walker's reformation -- the off-court issues outlined above.
And while he waits for a call that may never come, Walker works with his young Boise teammates, facing those fans eager to heckle a fallen star and the reporters armed with cynical questions.
"I've been blessed and had a wonderful, wonderful life," Walker told CSNNE's Greg Dickerson. "Am I going to be living on the street? No. That's some misconception that people think."
Walker lives not on the street, but in a two-bedroom apartment in Boise, Idaho. He would leave it behind for any of the NBA's 30 cities.