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Antoine Walker      

Retired Professional Basketball Player; Three-Time NBA All-Star

Antoine Walker is an American retired professional basketball player. He was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky and played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008. Walker, best known for his eight-year run with the Celtics, also played for the Mavericks, Hawks, Heat, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, the BSN's Mets and the NBA D-League's Stampede before retiring from basketball in 2012. Walker was selected to three NBA All-Star teams, won a NCAA championship with Kentucky in 1996 and won a NBA championship with the Heat in 2006.

Walker attended Mount Carmel High School, where he played with future NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and attained all-state status as a senior, earning a full scholarship to play for Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky. He was a starting forward on the Wildcats' 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship-winning team. As a freshman at Kentucky he was named SEC Tournament MVP. In his sophomore year, Walker was named All-SEC First, All-SEC Tournament and to the All-NCAA Regional Teams.

After Walker's sophomore season, he declared for the 1996 NBA Draft and was picked sixth overall by the Boston Celtics. In the 1996–1997 season, Walker made the All-Rookie 1st Team and led the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounds (9.0), as the team had its worst season in franchise history, 15–67. The following season, Walker made the All-Star team as a reserve while averaging 22.4 ppg and 10.2 rpg. He also scored a career-high 49 points in a loss against the Washington Wizards. The next season, Walker made his third All-Star team.

Nine and one-half days before the start of the 2003–04 season, Walker was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Walker was used in a relatively limited capacity on his new team due to the number of high-caliber players populating the Mavericks' roster. Included on that team was Antawn Jamison, newly acquired from the Golden State Warriors. On August 8, 2004 Walker and Tony Delk were traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Jason Terry, longtime Hawk Alan Henderson and a draft pick.

In 2005, Walker was traded back to the Celtics. Walker started all 24 remaining games for the Celtics, averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game as the Celtics advanced to the playoffs before losing to the Indiana Pacers in a 7 game first round series.

Walker was then involved in a five-team, 13-player deal (the largest trade in NBA history) that sent him from the Celtics to the Miami Heat. Walker would play as a reserve. Though he struggled early to adjust to this role, by the end of the season he was a force for the Heat, finishing the season with averages of 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. In the playoffs his production would increase, as he would be the third leading scorer for the team while making crucial three-point baskets against the New Jersey Nets and the Detroit Pistons. Miami won the NBA Finals facng the Dallas Mavericks, but failed to repeat as champions following a first round loss to the Chicago Bulls the next season.

In short stints, Walker was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and then to the Guaynabo Mets and then acquired by the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. Shortly after, Walker retired.


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