Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 3/20/12

Antoine Walker has unfortunately reached a new low in his life: he is forced to sell his 2006 NBA championship ring due to financial problems. Last week, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard released the story that spelled out some of the recent woes Antoine has been going through. Once an NBA All-star, Walker now plays for the D-League’s Idaho Stampede, and shares a $915-monthly apartment with a fellow teammate.

It really sucks to hear stories like this, especially coming from an athlete who earned an absolute minimum of $110 million dollars over the course of his professional career (that number does not include endorsement deals during his tenure). Ballard’s story explained the terrible financial downfall Walker experienced, terminating in him filling for bankruptcy in May 2010. But, a lot more must have transpired since then if Walker is being forced to sell the ring for an estimated $21 grand. It truly hurts to see a man who earned 8-figures have to sell such a priceless item for that amount of money.

Even in a time like this, its never too late to look back at the outstanding career Walker did give his fans during his NBA days. A standout athlete, Walker played along NFL Quarterback Donovan McNabb in high school, eventually becoming an all-state athlete on his way to a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky. Walker played for Rick Pitino, where he won an NCAA Mens Division I Championship as a starting forward. He went on to earn All-SEC honors in addition to the SEC Tournament MVP. Walker was drafted 6th overall in the 1996 draft, which we all will remember as the greatest draft besides the coveted 2003 draft. Over the course of 7 seasons with the Celtics, playing alongside none other than Paul Pierce, Walker averaged a minimum of 17 points.

After his stint with the Celtics ended, Walker jumped around for 6 more seasons where he luckily ended up on the 2006 Championship squad with Dwayne Wade and the Diesel himself. During his successful career, Walker was a 3-time all-star, earned NBA All-Rookie Team honors, and won the treasured championship ring. It’s hard to imagine how Walker could have fallen so far, but this is one of those sad stories that we hear too often in sports. Walker was a great star and I only hope the best for the guy as he has a tough mountain to climb if he wants to get his life back on track.

-Nordon

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