Boston Celtics

Antoine Walker of the Boston Celtics celebrates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Nets during the 2002 NBA Playoffs at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on May 21, 2002. The Celtics won 93-86. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

Kemba Walker and the Celtics just provided every stubborn Celtics fan who held on to their Antoine Walker No. 8 jerseys with a sense of purpose.

In a new press release confirming the long-reported news that Kemba Walker signed with them as a free agent, the Celtics confirmed that the former Hornets point guard – who can’t wear No. 15 because it’s been retired for Tommy Heinsohn for 53 years – will switch to No. 8. The same number worn by another famous Celtics Walker, Antoine.

Better dust off that old ‘Toine jersey, if you still have it.

Antoine Walker never delivered the C’s a championship, but he did reach the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals as part of a pairing with Paul Pierce. He made three All-Star squads over his first seven seasons in Boston, during which he averaged 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 528 games.

‘Toine became as well-known for his shimmy after hitting big shots as he did for chucking up maddening hero-balls at the most inopportune times. His combination of talent and personality made him something of a magnetic figure, if never quite a great-enough star to take the Celtics to that next level.

We’ll see if Kemba Walker can reach the heights that Antoine – or even Kyrie Irving – never could in Boston. If he does, jersey No. 8 will have a new king on the Celtics.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at