At age 34, after having been out of competitive basketball for two years, what does Antoine Walker really have left in the tank?
Maybe a little something, after reading reports of his first game with the Idaho Stampede. Walker, teamed with Blazers first rounder and new D-Leaguer Luke Babbitt, got Idaho its first win of the season, and had 13 points on 5-11 shooting, six rebounds and three assists, according to Scott Schroeder of FanHouse.
The best description of his night came from Jay King of Celtics Blog.
Walker, as he has always done, made his coaches smile (his distribution yesterday was fantastic), and frown (one three-pointer fell a yardstick short of the rim). He could handle the ball like no other big man on the floor; like few guards, really. He took too many three-pointers (of course he did; he finished 0-3), but at his best Walker was driving by slower, less creative bigs. He was finding open shooters in the corner. He was utilizing the many basketball talents God gifted to him, talents Walker has so often squandered with poor decision-making and conditioning. And yes, he also notched his first D-League technical foul.
Walker’s conditioning — always an issue in the best of times — needs a lot of work. As you would expect. But maybe, just maybe there is still something there of value to an NBA team. We’ll have to see how he looks as the rust shakes off over the next few weeks.