Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 8/8/12

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.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Man dies after Mirror Lake jump at Ohio State

Patriots owner defends officials: ‘They’re not robots’

Joseph Randle arrested for allegedly assaulting officer

Schefter denies saying Kelly’s days in Philly are numbered

Rodgers looking forward to seeing Brett Favre, Bart Starr

Kobe has worst game of his career against Warriors


Rams WR Stedman Bailey in hospital after being shot in head

Furious Brad Stevens blasts Celtics after lackluster game

Did Bryce Harper deserve the MVP?

Duke 5-star commit posts moving message after successful surgery

Ex-LSU commit still supports Les Miles

Report: Ray Lewis gave Bills pregame pep talk

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker