Darrell Walker has had a long and accomplished career in the NBA as both a player and coach. Although he's a valued member of the New York Knicks coaching staff he's also someone who is valued throughout the NBA. Now that the Detroit Pistons are looking to replace Lawrence Franks as their head coach could Walker be the man for the job?
Now Darrell Walker is a 52 year old assistant coach for the New York Knicks but he was once a 12th overall selection by the Knicks in the 1983 NBA Draft. The 6'4", 180 pound guard played in New York from 1983-86, the Denver Nuggets from 1986-87, the Washington Bullets from 1988-91, the Detroit Pistons in 1992 and the Chicago Bulls in 1993.
Walker then began his second career as a coach. He began as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors for the inaugural squad of 1995-96. The following year, he was named head coach and was in Toronto through February of 1998.
In 1999-2000, Walker was head coach of the CBA’s Rockford Lightning. In January of 2000, he was named interim head coach of the Washington Wizards for the rest of the season. In July of 2000, he was named interim head coach of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and led them to their first playoff berth.
Walker then spent the next four seasons with the Wizards as first the director of player personnel (2000-01) and then as a scout (2001-04). He was an assistant coach with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets from 2004-08) , an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons from 2008-11 and an assistant with the New York Knicks from 2012 till present.
Now Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated is reports Walker may be a candidate to replace Lawrence Franks as the next head coach of the Pistons.
Knicks assistant coach Darrell Walker is a candidate for the Pistons coaching job, sources say. Walker was a Pistons assistant from '08-'11
Walker is known to be brash, cocky and confrontational but also very knowledgeable and respected by players because of his playing experience. He was an huge part of the 1984 Knicks squad led by Bernard King that advanced to the Eastern Conference Semis. That season Walker was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. In 1993 he became an NBA champion with the Bulls.
During his career he scored 6,389 points (8.9 ppg) and recorded 3,276 assists (4.6 apg) and 1,090 steals (1.5 spg). However, in his three seasons as an NBA head coaching he holds a record of 56-113. However, that record was with a young Raptors team who struggled under everyone's leadership.
Losing Walker would definitely hurt the Knicks coaching staff. Walker was a very good defender and he's become a very good defensive coach. He knows the fundamentals of defense, how to teach perimeter and low-post defense and how to fill passing lanes and deal with switching. He'd surely leave a void that would need to be filled if he left. Ironically, Lawrence Frank could be a candidate to fill Walkers' assistant position but first it remains to be seen if Walker will get the nod as next Pistons head coach.