Former Wildcat Walton is back in town to conduct his basketball camp and to catch up with a number of his former teammates. He has a minor wrist injury that kept him from participating in the Tucson Summer Pro League, but he did take time out to help coach.
He also took a few minutes to answer a few quick questions.
Q: “How does it feel to be back in Tucson?
A: “Driving in was a great feeling. It’s nice to be back.”
Q: You and Richard are very close, both of your teams have changed greatly this off season. What’s your take on the moves?
A: “We lost our big fella (Shaquille O’Neal) and they lost K-Mart (Kenyon Martin). It’s going to be a whole different team out in L.A. next year.”
Q: What was your reaction to Shaq’s departure?
A: “I’m upset. I loved playing with Shaq. He’s a great player and he made everything a lot easier for everyone with him. But I am excited too with the new guys coming.”
Q: Has it been tough trying to stay on top of Kobe and Shaq situations?
A: “If I tried to follow it it would take up my whole summer. I’ve just been focusing on playing basketball and working on myself.”
Q: Do you think you’ll be getting more playing time next year?
A: “I hope so. I’ve been working on my game all summer.”
Walton played in 72 games this season as a rookie with the Lakers. He averaged 2.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists a game. The numbers dropped a bit in the playoffs, except for the NBA Finals against Detroit. In the ill-fated finals he averaged 3.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Most of those numbers came in the Lakers’ game two win where he had seven points, eight assists and five rebounds.
The first session of Walton’s summer camp is underway, but the second session still has space available. To register call (520) 360-6163.