11 People who turned their backs on the Celtics

These players, coaches and other figures all turned their back on the Celtics in one way or another.
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Antoine Walker

Part of the legendary 1996 NBA draft class that included players like Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, (and ironically enough, Stephon Marbury), Antoine Walker was drafted sixth overall by the Celtics. He would spend the first seven years of his career in Boston, where he earned his way to three All-Star appearances.

Five times in his first seven seasons with the Celtics, Walker played in at least 81 games during the regular season. He was highly productive, and there was not much to complain about when it came to his on-court production. But like many on this list, it is what transpired after he left the organization that tarnished his image.

In the 2003 offseason and just before the start of the 2003-04 season, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge opted to make a big and controversial move in his first year as an executive with the team, dealing Walker to the Dallas Mavericks. Antoine did not take kindly to being traded, especially after reportedly being told he was not going to be moved.

"He was saying all the right things, but obviously he did the opposite thing," said Walker. "I never had a relationship with him. I knew he was going to be a snake." Ainge is a former NBA champion with the Celtics and would go on to have a long (albeit controversial) run as an executive in Boston. Antoine referring to him as a snake felt like him stabbing the franchise in the back on his way out.

In 2005, Walker would find his way back to Boston at the trade deadline, but he did little to repair his damaged relationship with the team and the fans.