In Reverence of Bill Walker

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers gestures, as Bill Walker #5 of the New York Knicks looks on in the second half at Staples Center on December 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Knicks 99-82. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Bill Walker might never see the floor as a Knick again. He's recovering from an elbow injury at the moment, but even when he's healthy, a newly deep bench with J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, and Iman Shumpert all occupying back-up wing minutes sits between Walker and further playing time. Some unexpected circumstance could allow Bill the Bully to spin in earnest at one point or another, but it won't be surprising if Walker doesn't see a meaningful minute between now and the moment his contract expires this summer. Based on what I gather from our game threads, that will please a lot of you, because a lot of you rather dislike Bill Walker. And there are valid reasons for disliking what Bill Walker brings to the court: particularly this year, he's been reckless, accident-prone, and effective only in feverish streaks. A lot of us, though, can't help but love the fellow. Why? Well, I don't think I can sum it up better than friend-of-P&T Ryan O'Hanlon did it at The Classical today. Here's a sample of a piece that I hiiiighly recommend you read in full:

It’s so painful because Bill Walker comes into the game and dribbles the ball off his foot and misses shots and fouls his man. It’s even more painful because Bill Walker is totally lovable, and totally and inextricably Bill Walker. He’s still a quirky, seemingly sweet-natured kid from Huntington, West Virginia. He calls soda "pop." He calls Al Trautwig "chief." And he thinks the funky chicken is hilarious. That is, I like Bill Walker, and he seems like someone who might be a good teammate and an entertaining person to be around. I don’t know if this is true, though he definitely does and says things that seem different. I mean… the Funky Chicken is his idea of a good time.

That's it right there. For all his foibles, Bill is eminently lovable (and, I'll add, an incredibly talented basketball player who can do some brilliant stuff when he's in the right mode), not to mention a man of many disciplines. He's probably en route to permanent garbage squad status, but Bill Walker will always be a P&T legend.

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