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

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

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

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

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.