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Breaking news as former Celtic Antoine Walker has rejoined the team, adding a veteran presence for a playoff push. Despite public legal issues, ‘Toine will make a return next week before playoffs to see if he is in playing shape to earn a spot on the playoff rotation.
Walker was originally drafted by the Celtics out of Kentucky in 1996. He was a co-captain of the team as he lead the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, even giving the motivational speech to teammates as they came back from the largest deficit in NBA playoff history (21 points in the fourth quarter).
Walker’s return is largely due to his long-lasting friendship with Paul Pierce, who lobbied to Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge to give ol’ number 8 another opportunity.
This isn’t the first time Walker has made a return to Boston. In 2004, The Celtics traded Gary Payton, who later re-signed with Boston (ala Big Z this season), to Atlanta, bringing Walker back. He didn’t make it past that season with the Green, and has since won a championship with Miami. He also played for Minnesota and Memphis. Recently, he was playing in Puerto Rico, beginning the trend for players who did not pan out in the NBA to go oversees.
Pending a physical, Walker will join the Celtics this weekend and play with the second unit in the final weeks. Should he appear to be in-shape, he will add a veteran presence with playoff experience.
(In case you couldn’t figure it out, this is a April’s Fool Joke… but admit it, you were excited to hear the wiggle was coming back to Boston.)