http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7312023/It has taken nine years. It required a trade out of town a year and a half ago. It also required a stint with a terrible team. But when Antoine Walker went back to Boston — where he had spent the first seven years of his career — in a trade last month, he finally was ready to be the kind of player the Celtics have wanted him to be since drafting him in 1996.
"We've had sit-downs a couple of times just about how I view the way the game should be played offensively," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "And that was probably a little different than the way it was here before. I explained to him why we needed to play differently, and I think he's done a pretty good job of that."
Celtics fans know exactly what "playing differently" means for Walker — it means settling into the post, rebounding and eschewing quick-trigger 3-pointers, the kind of bad shots that led Celtics president Danny Ainge to trade Walker to the Mavericks before last season. Ainge believed Walker's style had been so deeply enmeshed with the team's style that a trade was the only remedy.