Walker still upset about trade

Updated: December 12, 2003, 3:18 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Antoine Walker is still upset by the October trade that sent him to Dallas.

In an interview with the Boston Globe published Thursday on the newspaper's Web site, he accuses Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge of shipping him to the Mavericks to "set my career back."

"Danny wanted to get rid of me," Walker told The Globe. "If you look at the trade, I think he really felt like I wouldn't mesh with these guys in Dallas. Me, personally, I think he was really trying to set my career back a little bit. If you really look at what I got traded for, it's got to be the biggest difference [in talent] in history. Usually, an All-Star gets traded for an All-Star. And you gave away Tony Delk, a proven scorer in this league."

Walker and Delk were dealt for Raef LaFrentz, Jiri Welsch, Chris Mills and Dallas' first-round pick in 2004.

"I can't understand it, unless he was trying to put me in a situation where he didn't want me to succeed," Walker told the paper. "Obviously, he's going to ship me West. That's obvious. He didn't think individually I'd shine in Dallas, maybe team-wise. But if I'm putting up minimum numbers and I'm just an average player with this team, he can live with that because he knows that's what he's going to get in return anyways, with Raef [LaFrentz]."

Ainge, whom Walker criticized immediately after the trade, denied the move was "personal."

"Time will answer all the questions," Ainge told the Globe. "I'm not going to get into a squabble with Antoine Walker. Every player that gets traded is emotionally hurt, and their pride is hurt, and I understand it. I've been a player and I've been traded twice. I understand his perspective.

"I obviously don't agree. And I can't think of a better situation that Antoine Walker went to than Dallas, individually and everything. The organization was the only organization that made any offers of any significance. This was not about me trading him to Dallas ... It's OK for Antoine to vent and say anything he wants."

Walker is averaging 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the 13-8 Mavericks, who are tied for first place in the Midwest Division of the Western Conference. Delk is averaging 7.6 points.

LaFrentz, limited by sore knees, is averaging 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds a game for the 10-12 Celtics, who are two games behind Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.

Welsch is averaging 5.7 points and 2.2 assists. Mills was placed on the injured list Oct. 27 and has yet to play for the Celtics.

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