Four of five years from now, for all we know, Bill Walker could be an NBA All-Star. Or, four of five years from now, Bill Walker could be an NBA nobody. Or, four or five years from now, Bill Walker could be somewhere in between.
It's impossible to tell just how much Walker will develop over the next several years, but at the same time, that was half the fun of having him as a member of the Boston Celtics. We weren't sure when or even if Walker would turn into a legitimate NBA player, but many of us loved the idea of him possibly becoming somebody. Immersed inside of us was an ever-flowing river of hope that Walker would be the next go-to guy (or the next "next", as Jeff Clark might say), and it was fun having it there.
Which is why it was so bittersweet watching Walker sky for his first dunk of the game - now in a Knicks uniform - with 2:53 left in the first quarter last night and finish with seven points. On the one hand, you're happy that he's receiving minutes, but on the other hand, you're ever so slightly disappointed that he's no longer a Celtic. We no longer have that young guy on the bench who could have potentially made his eventual ascent into the starting lineup to help bridge the gap to the future. It's difficult not to latch onto the exciting, young, athletic wing player - the prototypical NBA swingman. That reality with Walker might have never actually came to fruition, but it was that hope that it would that seemed to captivate many of us.
However, in sports, there's little room for nostalgia. What's done is done. Bill Walker is a Knick and Nate Robinson is a Celtic. What the future holds for both cannot be predicted. But it certainly was fun having Walker around these past two years. It wouldn't surprise me at all if many of us quietly kept tabs on his performances for the next few seasons. Here's to a bright future for him and another title for us.