Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/16/14

The 1996 NBA Draft is known as the best of all-time. The top 20 includes Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, Antoine Walker, Kobe Bryant, Peja Stojakovic, Steve Nash, Jermaine O’neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and of course Samaki Walker. Samaki (and his suit) was the 9th pick of the draft, projected to be better than Kobe Bryant and more. The Dallas Mavericks drafted the potential stud out of Louisville after swapping picks with the Celtics, who drafted the better Walker.

Samaki went on to be the franchise’s youngest player to ever appear in a game, and managed to have a decent rookie year, averaging 5 ppg and 3.4 rpg starting in 12 games. The next season he started in 7 more games, and averaged career highs with nearly 9 ppg and 7.4 rpg, Samaki actually looked like a promising power forward. Unfortunately the next season Walker was limited, but he still put up 6 ppg.

The next season the championship Spurs signed Samaki to contribute off the bench. In his two seasons with the Spurs he averaged 5.2 ppg. Walker was released in summer 2001, and claimed by the Los Angeles Lakers to be their starting PF. Walker was a solid role player averaging 6.7 ppg and 7 rpg, shooting over 50% for the only time in his career.

Samaki is most known for his 3-point halftime buzzer beater in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Kings that shouldn’t have counted. As the story goes, the Lakers make an epic comeback and Robert Horry hits a game-winning 3-pointer. Kings fans blame Samaki Walker, the refs, and Vlade Divac’s tip for the loss.  However, Kings fans should blame me for their loss…

I just so happened to be at the tunnel of that game when Robert Horry was walking to the court from halftime. I didn’t know exactly what to say, but when he passed me I immediately screamed and demanded, “Hit a 3 for me Robert!” (We were on a first name basis). Horry didn’t respond, or turn back and give me a wink like I hoped, but I know he heard me. That 2nd half he hit a few three’s, but I know that last one was for me. So, am I as responsible as Samaki Walker for that comeback win? Yes. Clearly I motivated Robert Horry, and if it weren’t for my command he wouldn’t have made that shot. That 3 was for me.

(I’ll admit I have nothing to do with the implementation of the instant replay, that’s all Samaki).

Samaki would go on to win a ring for the Lakers in the prime of his career. He continued to play for the Heat, Wizards, and Pacers before going overseas for more playing time.

In 2010 Walker averaged 14.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg in China, he still got it…but then he lost it last year when he tried to eat eight grams of marijuana.

-Schotz

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yu Darvish on notion he quit on Rangers: ‘That’s BS‘

Tiger Woods' agent refutes drug suspension claim

Bryce Harper says he needs to ‘step up’ this season

Report: Chiefs place franchise tag on Justin Houston

What a Marcus Mariota trade might look like

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ndamukong Suh to hit free agency, no franchise tag

Report: Rasheed Sulaimon was accused of sexual assault

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas

Marshawn Lynch on final SB play: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Coyotes

Nick Young rips ESPN anchor over Iggy Azalea insult

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Could Holly Holm be a worthy challenger for Ronda Rousey?

Gronk spikes Lombardi Trophy cake on his bro's head

In defense of Geno Smith

Lynch opens up to the media….in Turkey

Building a program: Kennesaw State's first spring practice

Did Duke ignore Sulaimon sexual assault allegations?

Ten takeaways from this week's NFL offseason action

What to expect on franchise tag deadline day

WATCH: Sidney Crosby gets leveled in open-ice hit

PHOTO: Pacquiao has message for Mayweather with t-shirt?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.