BILL Walker is hoping to make the PBA as his springboard back to the NBA — like he did the first time he suited up in Asia’s first professional league.
The five-year NBA veteran returns to the PBA to reinforce NLEX this time in the Governors’ Cup after playing for Alaska in the 2014 edition of the season-ending conference.
Following his fourth NBA season in 2012, Walker was reduced to a journeyman in the next three years, having stints in the NBA D-League and the Venezuelan league.
But reaching the Philippine shores two years ago paved the way for his return to the NBA as Walker managed to sign two 10-day contracts with Miami, before getting retained for the remainder of the 2014-15 season with the Heat.
“A couple of scouts saw me play here, but I just think the Philippines is just a good omen for me,” Walker said in a short chat with Spin.ph after their tune-up game against Star on Saturday.
Despite playing 24 games along with 13 starts for the Heat, averaging 7.3 points, 3.4 boards, 1.2 assists, and 1 steal in 26.2 minutes, Walker failed to renew his NBA contract as he wound up in the Croatian league since last year.
But the stocky forward, generously listed at 6’6”, hopes that playing in the Philippines brings good fortune anew.
“I come here and I leave and great things happen, so I’m hoping to repeat that,” added the 28-year-old American cager, who bolsters a Road Warriors side that’s looking to gain elite status in the league.
Walker said he needs to be more aggressive on the offensive end than the time he played for the Aces when he averaged just 21.6 points on 45.9-percent shooting along with 9.4 boards, 7 assists, and 1.1 steals in 38.1 minutes.
“I remember the last time I was here, I was more passive and trying to get guys involved, and everybody kind of knocked me for it, because I didn’t go out there and try to score 50, 60 points,” Walker said. “But this year, I’m just going to be more aggressive and then try to create off of that and we’ll see how it goes.”
“Instead of letting the game come to me, I just got to force it, just be in attack mode and get to the basket more and post up more, and put more pressure on the rim and find my teammates that way, instead of just coasting along,” he added.