Antoine Walker's sights set on redemption

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Antoine Walker's sights set on redemption

Search NBA.com for Antoine Walker's profile, a page typically filled with career stats and personal information, and you'll be delivered this message: "Given player cannot be found."

Part Two of Greg Dickerson's two-part interview with Antoine Walker

A thirteen-year career, 17.5 points-per-game average and three NBA All-Star appearances wiped clean. Though a fresh start is what Walker seeks, it comes at the very bottom of what could be a long uphill climb. He's living in a two-bedroom apartment in Boise, Idaho, as a member of the NBDL's Stampede.

It looks and feels like a fresh start to Walker, but may only be nominal in the minds of NBA executives.

"For whatever reason with the negative publicity that's been behind me -- what's gone on off the court -- if that's the reason why I'm not playing in the NBA, I think that's unjust," Walker, 34, told CSNNE's Greg Dickerson.

That negative publicity largely stems from felony bad check charges he faced last year for allegedly failing to repay nearly 1 million in gambling debts and penalties to Las Vegas casinos. Mismanaged real-estate investments have also soured. But those issues are away from the court.

Walker is now working to prove he deserves another shot at the NBA. By playing for the Stampede, an NBDL team typically reserved for fringe players in their youth, he hopes to catch the eye of an NBA team in need of his services.

"It'd mean the world for me right now to get back, because it's what I love to do," said Walker. "I think I still have a lot of basketball left to play. I think I can still be competitive. I think, if I get with the right team, I can still win championships. It's just that I left the game not on my own merit . . .

"If a GM says to my face, 'Antoine, you can't play at this level anymore,' then it's time to do something else. But until I'm told that, I'm going to continue to try to fight and get there. But I'm not going to chase it; if it's not there, it's not there. But I'm going to work and give myself every opportunity to get back."

Filled with regret with how he left the NBA, Walker is hopeful a team will call on him this season or next.

For now, this given player can be found -- in Boise, Idaho.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”