Bill Walker: "I don’t think my game was built for college"

Bill Walker: "I don’t think my game was built for college"
May 25, 2008, 11:06 pm
DraftExpress: It looks like you’ve lost some weight, how did you do it?

Bill Walker: I cut out breads and sugars; I really just tried to kill the carbs in my diet and exercise everyday.

DraftExpress: How much weight have you taken off?

Bill Walker: Twenty five pounds.

DraftExpress: Wow.

Bill Walker: It’s a lot of weight; I’ve gone through quite the physical change.

DraftExpress: How do you feel?

Bill Walker: It feels great. On the court I’m much more explosive, I have more energy and I’m back to doing the things I used to do.

DraftExpress: How important was it to you to take off that weight?

Bill Walker: It’s real important because it shows people the level of dedication I have for my craft; to shed that weight and try to be the best I can for the draft and these workouts.

DraftExpress: How are you enjoying working out here in Chicago with Tim Grover, Mike Procopio and Rod Baker?

Bill Walker: They have so much knowledge of the game; they’re really into the footwork. They’re helping my game grow, so I’m having a lot of fun out here.

DraftExpress: How much are they pushing you physically?

Bill Walker: They’re probably the sole reason I lost that weight; just them showing me that the diet works, I mean it’s an easy diet.

DraftExpress: What are the individual skills you’re trying to work on the most to show NBA teams in the workouts?

Bill Walker: Everybody said I can’t shoot or dribble, so those are the two main things I’ve been working on. I’m making sure I have my footwork together and working on the mechanics of my shot.

DraftExpress: How do you feel when people say Bill Walker can’t shoot or he can’t dribble?

Bill Walker: They obviously haven’t watched enough of me play, they’ve probably only seen me play once. But I just let it roll off my back, I don’t pay too much attention to it.

DraftExpress: What if people say you need to improve your ball-handling and perimeter shooting?

Bill Walker: I plan on doing that. I feel like every player in this draft needs to work on their game some more; the things we got away with in college we’re not going to be able to get away with in the pros. So really everybody has some things to work on.

DraftExpress: What are some things you’re working on here that we might not have been able to see at Kansas State?

Bill Walker: Just more of a finesse game basically. I’m doing more off the ball stuff, pick and rolls; I really didn’t get a chance to do any of that or show off guard skills when I was K-State, because we didn’t have any depth. That’s the main stuff I’ve been working on.

DraftExpress: You always had a really good point guard next to you in high school, not to say you had a bad one at K-State, but did you miss having a really good instinctive playmaker next to you at all times?

Bill Walker: I mean it changes the game a little bit, but we didn’t have a bad point guard. We were all young and there’s a growth period you have to go through, that’s what I think happened.

DraftExpress: Are there any regrets in your mind about not being able to show NCAA fans all of your game? Do you think you were able to maximize your potential at the college level?

Bill Walker: I don’t think my game was really built for the college game. I think I’ll do better in the pros than I did in college, because it’s more of an open game; it’s more physical, so I can use my strength more. I feel like I did a good job, though, I made third-team All Big 12.

DraftExpress: What have you learned from the adversity you’ve gone through in the past few years?

Bill Walker: You just have to have some patience and some faith. Everything happens for a reason, and I really believe that.

DraftExpress: I’m sure you would have wanted to be in the NBA two years ago, but do you think you’re more prepared for the NBA right now than you would have been?

Bill Walker: Yeah. Now that I think about it in hindsight, I’m a more mature person. I think things through a lot more than I would have at eighteen, so I can see where it did some good. But there’s always a bad side to it, it takes a way a person’s opportunity to make a living and that could change people’s lives.

DraftExpress: Do you think you really would have been a top ten pick coming out of high school?

Bill Walker: I mean I think I would have been considered, but you never know. I definitely would have considered trying my hand though.

DraftExpress: So if you are invited to the NBPA meeting to talk about the age limit, would you be in favor of it or against it?

Bill Walker: That’s tough. I’d be against it, mainly for the sole reason that you’re taking away an avenue to someone’s career, somebody’s life. It’s unjust.

DraftExpress: How do you feel about people using you as an example of why the age limit is a bad thing?

Bill Walker: I mean, things happen. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. It really comes down to how you let it affect you. If you sit around and mope then yeah, you’ll be affected by the rule. I didn’t, I tried to get my body back in shape and get ready for the next season.

DraftExpress: How is your knee doing at this point and time?

Bill Walker: It’s stronger than ever. I’ve gotten more explosiveness back than I probably ever had, so I’m feeling good.

DraftExpress: Some people say that the surgery you went through actually makes your knee stronger over the long term. Can you personally say that that’s true?

Bill Walker: Yeah, that’s true. You build up all the other muscles around it that you wouldn’t normally do if you didn’t have the injury.

DraftExpress: What would you say to teams that express concern about your long term durability because of the knee issues?

Bill Walker: I’d say that’s not a problem anymore. I haven’t had any problems with my knee after the surgeries; I’m ready to take that step and be a contributor to a team.

DraftExpress: What are you hearing right now about your draft stock?

Bill Walker: I mean you guys did a mock draft that had me going second round, but I feel like a lot of these guys in the draft now aren’t better than me. I plan on proving it in private workouts and stuff like that. I’m pretty sure my name will climb.

DraftExpress: So you feel pretty good that you’re going to be a first round pick?

Bill Walker: Yeah I feel pretty good about that. A high first round pick is what I’m aiming for.

DraftExpress: How likely is it that you return to K-State next year?

Bill Walker: It just depends. If I don’t like where I’m projected to go before the draft, I’ll definitely go back to school. I have no problem going back to K-State.

DraftExpress: So you’re definitely keeping that option open?

Bill Walker: Yeah, that’s why I’m not hiring any type of agent. I’m just taking my time, focusing on basketball, and if it doesn’t pan out I’ll just go back to K-State.

DraftExpress: Is there a cut off point in your mind? Top 20? First round? Fully guaranteed contract in the second round?

Bill Walker: It’d probably be first round. If I can’t get in the first round then obviously I’ll go back to school.

DraftExpress: Now the problem with that in my mind is on June 16th there may be some teams that have you in the first round but there’s no guarantees about what’s going to happen over the next ten days. Have you given that any thought at all?

Bill Walker: Yeah, but if I’m not in the discussion then, my decision has already been made to go back to school.

DraftExpress: Are you going to be playing at the pre-draft camp in Orlando?

Bill Walker: I don’t think so right now. I don’t think I really have anything to gain by playing in those games; people have seen me play. I do plan on going into some private workouts with teams and going 1-on-1 with guys that they have above me and proving them wrong.

DraftExpress: You’re not eager to show all 30 GM’s at once that you lost 25 pounds; you’re back to your old athleticism and all that?

Bill Walker: I think the word will get out.

DraftExpress: Have you begun to schedule your private workouts?

Bill Walker: Not yet, but we’re close to putting the dates down and the stuff with that.

DraftExpress: Five years from now how do you project yourself in the NBA? What do you envision your role being?

Bill Walker: I’ve never really thought about that. I hope to be an All-Star, but you never know.

DraftExpress: Tell me about some of your basketball goals. Not just for your rookie season, but your career in general.

Bill Walker: The main one is to win a championship; there’s no better feeling that being on a championship team, so that would definitely be first. I guess just being a consistently good player, getting better every year. If I do that, I’m pretty sure I’ll get a ring.

DraftExpress: What about on a personal level outside of basketball. Is there anything you would like to accomplish as a human being?

Bill Walker: I plan on setting up some businesses, getting into real estate, helping some underprivileged families get homes. I want to be a force in my community in a positive way.

DraftExpress: What are some of the things you enjoy most about playing basketball?

Bill Walker: I love competition; it brings out the best in people.

DraftExpress: What are some of the things you dislike about playing basketball?

Bill Walker: I don’t know. I love the game; I don’t really see any imperfections with it.

DraftExpress: Is there any of the peripheral stuff you have to deal with on a regular basis, that maybe you don’t dislike it, but it’s a nuisance?

Bill Walker: No. I mean, you want to be good at this game; you have to accept the other things that come with it. So I don’t think any of that other stuff is really a nuisance unless you let it be one.

DraftExpress: Tell me about the most amazing basketball experience that you’ve had.

Bill Walker: I would say the most recent one was the win over Kansas when everyone stormed the court; that was pretty big. Also the tournament win we got over USC, that was the school’s first tournament win in like twenty years, so that was exciting.

DraftExpress: What about the worst basketball experience you’ve had?

Bill Walker: Probably the worst game I ever played in my entire life, the game against Texas. People really ripped me up for that one, but they’re a great team, they did that to a lot of players this year.

DraftExpress: Tell me one of the most important things you’ve learned from a coach you’ve had.

Bill Walker: It was probably from Bob Huggins: just go hard. If you don’t know what’s going on, just play hard.

DraftExpress: Anything in particular that you need to learn as a human being as you move forward?

Bill Walker: I don’t know if one thing sticks out, but I’m pretty sure I can work on everything about myself. I can be more personable and just open up to people more.

DraftExpress: Favorite basketball player?

Bill Walker: That’s tough. I like LeBron [James] and [Paul] Pierce right now.

DraftExpress: Pretty good match up in game seven huh?

Bill Walker: That was a beautiful game. That’s what I’ve been waiting for during the playoffs, something like that.

DraftExpress: Have you been watching a lot of the playoffs?

Bill Walker: Yeah. I’ve been watching Paul Pierce and LeBron real close because I plan on taking some of their moves and putting them into my game. I can see where I could fit into a system like they play in.

DraftExpress: Any predictions for the NBA finals?

Bill Walker: It might be the Celtics and Lakers; I’d love to see that.

DraftExpress: Favorite person in the world?

Bill Walker: It’s between my mom and my sister. I love them both.

DraftExpress: Thanks a lot Bill.

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