|Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 23. Hello and goodbye again, Antoine Walker||07.28.15 at 12:01 pm ET|
Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.
With that out of the way, here’s No. 23 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.
Feb. 24, 2005: Hello again, Antoine Walker.
ARRIVING in Boston
- Antoine Walker: Just 14 months after trading Walker for one of the worst contracts in NBA history, Ainge reacquired the former All-Star for a first-round pick and expiring contracts. It was weird. It was also an obvious attempt to make a playoff push in Doc Rivers‘ first season as coach, and it worked. The Celtics won 11 of their first 12 games with Walker back in green, qualified for the playoffs and … of course lost in the first round.
DEPARTING to Atlanta
- Tom Gugliotta: Good ol’ Googs was just that — old. The one-time NBA All-Star played 20 games in Boston after signing as a free agent at age 35. He lasted 27 more on the Hawks before retiring at season’s end.
- Gary Payton: Still fairly productive at age 36, The Glove was included for salary-matching purposes and promptly waived by the Hawks. He re-signed with the C’s for the rest of the season a week later, resulting in The Gary Payton Rule requiring players to wait 30 days before re-signing with their previous team. (That time period has since been changed to the remainder of the season in what is called The Zydrunas Ilgauskas Rule.)
- Michael Stewart: He scored a whopping five points in 71 minutes for the Celtics during the 2003-04 season, did not see the Garden floor the following season and played just 12 more NBA games before calling it a career.
- Lakers’ 2006 first-round pick (Rajon Rondo): While Gugliotta, Payton and Stewart represented a $12.9 million pile of scrap heap material, they were all expiring contracts and thus weren’t a pot that needed much sweetening to unload. But Ainge was fairly liberal with his first-round picks in his early days as GM, and thankfully he was able to get this pick back by way of the Phoenix Suns after sacrificing another first-rounder.
Aug. 2, 2005: Goodbye again, Antoine Walker.
ARRIVING in Boston
- Curtis Borchardt: It’s perfectly OK if you don’t remember the Borchadt era in Boston. His claim to fame in a Celtics uniform was seven points in seven preseason games before signing overseas in the Spanish League.
- Albert Miralles: Ditto for Miralles, except he never actually left Spain. Strangely, that actually helped the Celtics six years later, when Ainge smartly dealt his rights to the Milwaukee Bucks for Keyon Dooling.
- Qyntel Woods: Samesies, except he was waived after three preseason games and signed with those wacky 2005-06 New York Knicks that seemingly featured every certifiably insane NBA player of the 2000s.
- Miami’s 2006 second-round pick (Edin Bavcic): Likewise, the Celtics never made this selection, because Ainge traded it less than two months later for 19 games worth of Dan Dickau during the 2005-06 NBA season.
- 2008 second-round pick (Nikola Pekovic): The Celtics got Nik Pekovic out of this deal? Awesome! Oh, wait, Ainge also tossed this pick into a trade a few months later for, among other assets, Michael Olowokandi.
DEPARTING to Miami
- Antoine Walker: ‘Toine, of course, put together the last decent season of his NBA career in 2005-06, playing every regular-season game and starting all 23 playoff games for the Heat during their run to the NBA title.
|Antoine Walker on D&C: ‘I trusted people that I shouldn’t have trusted’||06.19.14 at 12:53 pm ET|
Former Celtics power forward Antoine Walker joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss the upcoming documentary on his financial struggles: “Gone in an Instant: The Antoine Walker Story.” To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The documentary, which is scheduled to be released in August, will chronicle the rise and fall of Walker’s career and his nine-figure fortune. Walker stated that he chose to do this documentary both in order to clear the air on some aspects of his financial turmoil as well as instruct young NBA players on how to be responsible with their money.
“I think there were a lot of false things put out there and I wanted an opportunity to get my chance to tell my side of the story the correct way,” Walker said. “I just felt like I was getting misjudged in the public eye, not so much about losing money but how I lost it and what were the things that went on to lose it. More importantly, I’m trying to use it as a learning tool for younger guys that come into the NBA, but also for kids. … I think, as an NBA player, we look at ourselves as a fraternity, so I try to make sure that I can give back and really turn this negative story into a positive.”
A three-time All-Star, Walker earned $108 million in salary during his NBA career. However, a combination of poor investing ventures, gambling and unnecessary purchases, such as a $400,000 Maybach car, led to Walker filing for bankruptcy in 2010.
“It took a while for me,” Walker said. “It took 10-plus years in the league for me to start seeing a little difference in people, let alone my financial changes. I tried to take more risks, as far as investing. I started dipping and dabbing in real estate investments and making things a little bit more difficult than it had to be. I trusted people that I shouldn’t have trusted in. … I think the gambling piece got blown way out of proportion, so I wanted to bring that to light. … People got the wrong impression that I gambled my money away.”
|Irish Coffee: Top 10 reasons Celtics should hire Antoine Walker||06.25.13 at 11:48 am ET|
Boston fans its time for me to be the celtics coach !!!!
‘ Antoine Walker (@WalkerAntoine8) June 24, 2013
No, seriously, Antoine Walker wants to be the next coach of the Boston Celtics.
‘I want to be back in the game, I love the game and am a student of the game,’ he told The Boston Globe. ‘I want to stress seriously that I do want to become a coach … there’s a lot of guys starting to get opportunities and so the league is getting younger coaches. Obviously I’m lacking in experience but we’ve all got to start from somewhere.’
OK, then. I guess these would be the Top 10 reasons the Celtics should hire Antoine Walker.
|Antoine Walker setenced to probation, ordered to repay gambling debts||12.07.11 at 9:15 am ET|
Former Celtic Antoine Walker was sentenced Tuesday by a Las Vegas court to five years of probation and ordered to pay $770,000 in gambling debts. Walker, 35, pleaded guilty in June to felony fraudulent check charges related to his failure to pay gambling debts to three casinos.
As part of a plea deal, Walker is prohibited from gambling.
A three-time All-Star with the Celtics, Walker last played in the NBA in 2008 with the Timberwolves. He has tried to make an NBA comeback since making a brief appearance in a Puerto Rican league in 2010.
|Irish Coffee: Celtics are ‘Best of the Best’||12.20.10 at 12:03 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
In somewhat of a footnote in his most recent Sports Illustrated column, Ian Thomsen listed the records of NBA teams against oppoenents with a .500 record or better. You’ll never guess which team ranked atop the list.
Every day, people are coming up with new ways to capture how impressive the 2010-11 Celtics have been despite injuries that are piling up faster than my Christmas shopping list.
But the fact that the Celtics are 10-2 against above-.500 teams while no other Eastern Conference club has a winning record against those same squads might tell us all we need to know about the C’s chances of returning to the NBA Finals.
Against the best, the Celtics have been the best.
Only three teams in the entire league own a winning record against plus-.500 teams: the Celtics (10-2), Spurs (8-2) and Mavericks (9-3). Three others — the Thunder, Nuggets and Jazz — have .500 records against teams with winning records.
Considering the Spurs and Mavericks have been relatively healthy this season, what the Celtics have been able to accomplish is remarkable, as Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O’Neal, Delonte West, Jermaine O’Neal and Kendrick Perkins have missed a combined 81 games already.
The Celtics’ biggest competitors in the East — the Heat (5-6), Magic (3-6) and Bulls (4-8) — have all been disappointing against above-.500 teams, as have the Knicks (3-5) and Hawks (2-7). In fact, 10 teams have two wins or fewer against opponents with a .500 record or better, including the Lakers, who are 1-3 in just four games against quality opponents this season.
|Celtics: Irish Coffee||09.28.10 at 7:35 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Yesterday, the Celtics held their annual Media Day extravaganza, leading into today’s training camp kickoff. Check out the top five quotes that came out of a day that featured Shaq donning green for the first time …
Shaquille O’Neal on Kobe Bryant’s five rings: “Yeah, I heard it. My whole career I’ve been the measuring stick. Glad to see I’m still relevant. I would’ve been more upset, more hurt, if Tim Duncan would’ve made the comment. I don’t compete with guards. They have the ball more than I do, they shoot way more than I do. You can’t compete with guards. I’m only competing with Tim Duncan, so hopefully I can get No. 5 before Tim Duncan, respectfully before Tim Duncan.”
Nate Robinson hijinks
On the bus ride down to training camp in Newport, Nate Robinson played a few pranks on his sleeping teammates–including Shaq, KG and Delonte–and he posted the pictures to prove it on his Twitter page. Funny stuff.
Antoine Walker’s unemployment
Just a fantastic piece on Antoine Walker by David Aldridge. It’s blunt. He cited one coach who called the former first-round pick “a bad guy in Boston.” Walker touched on his gambling problem and how a “terrible decision” to invest in Chicago real estate led to losses in the double-digit millions. He talked about how he’s had to shrink his inner-circle to a select few, which includes M.L. Carr. After ballooning to almost 300 pounds, Walker is back down to about 265 and looking for a job. So far, though, he’s been turned down by everybody, including the Heat, who he won a championship with in 2006.
“He is a long, long way from the Shimmy and the three All-Star appearances,” writes Aldridge, “and the days he and Paul Pierce were the Celtics’ future, and the day that he signed an extension in Boston that should have taken care of his family for life. There’s no buzz that I can detect that there’s a team interested, so Walker will wait and see if someone goes down during camp and a team needs a body. He wouldn’t mind a camp invite just so he can stay in shape, even if there’s not a real prospect of a job.
“And if it ends for him here? Well, he’s been poor before.”
Paul Pierce, the blogger
Pierce posted a blog on the Boston.com website yesterday. He described how meaningful his high school jersey retirement ceremony.
“Of all the things in my career,” he wrote, “going back to Inglewood High School and having my jersey retired this week in front of my family and friends and the people in my community who supported me from the beginning, was one of the most memorable.”
Considering his career includes an NBA title, that’s saying a lot.
Celtics Late Night Show
Listen to our own Paul Flannery on the Celtics Late Night Show by Gino’s Jungle. He touches on all things green, including Media Day, why fans will like Jermaine O’Neal, Shaq’s star quality, KG’s health, why Rajon Rondo doesn’t watch basketball and the addition of Lawrence Frank to the coaching staff.
|Former Celtic Walker ordered to trial||06.14.10 at 1:39 pm ET|
Former Celtics forward Antoine Walker appeared in a Las Vegas court Monday and was ordered to face trial on felony bad check charges that he failed to repay almost $1 million in gambling debts to three Vegas casinos. The judge noted that Walker had yet to make any progress repaying some $770,000 he agreed to pay in restitution, court fees and penalties.
Walker filed for bankruptcy last month in Florida, and the Las Vegas prosecutor indicated that he is working with Walker’s lawyer on a deal that would avoid forcing Walker to serve jail time.
To read more, click here.
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