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Employee Number Eight and B.O. - 30 Years of Heat

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Billy Owens and Antoine Walker are featured in today’s countdown article.

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat, Game 4 Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

38. Billy Owens

Billy Owens, born May 1st, 1969, was a 6'8" guard and forward from Carlisle, PA. After playing at the prep level with Carlisle High, leading the team to four consecutive state titles and making the McDonalds All American squad in 1988, he played college ball with the Syracuse Orangemen for three seasons, averaging 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game as a junior in 1990-91. After declaring early for the 1991 draft, he was selected with the third overall pick by the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings traded Owens to the Golden State Warriors before he made an NBA appearance. He played three seasons with Golden State (196 games), averaging 15 points, eight rebounds, 3.4 assists, and just over a steal per game. Prior to the 1994-95 season, the Warriors traded him with Sasha Danilovic to the Heat for Rony Seikaly. Owens was entering the fourth season of a seven year, $20,070,000 deal. Miami would foot $6,187,000 over the next two seasons.

His first season with the Heat would see Owens start in 60 of his 70 overall appearances. He shot at a 49.1% success rate, playing 32.8 minutes per game with 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Miami went 27-43 in games in which Owens appeared. He finished in double figures 51 times with 19 double doubles. On January 5th, he scored 19 points on nine-of-15 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 114-91 victory over the Minnesota TimberWolves. He scored 30 points with 12 rebounds and three steals on February 3rd in a Heat win over the Washington Bullets, 105-95. On February 28th, he scored 17 points with 16 boards and four assists in a 95-85 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Miami finished at 32-50.

In 1995-96, Owens started 40 games for the Heat at small forward. He shot just a bit over 50% in 35 minutes a night, averaging 15 points, seven rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He scored in double figures 29 times, with eight double doubles. On November 22nd, in a matchup against his old squad in Golden State, he scored 24 points with 15 rebounds in a 103-93 Heat victory. On December 26th, in a 96-93 win against the New Jersey Nets, he scored 31 with six boards and three assists. Four days later, in a 105-96 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, he scored a season and game high 34 points with 10 rebounds and four assists. Miami traded him back to the team that drafted him, the Kings, with Kevin Gamble for Tyrone Corbin and Walt Williams.

Owens played two and a half seasons in Sacramento (166 games), later playing with the Seattle SuperSonics (21 games), the Philadelphia 76ers (46 games), the Warriors again (16 games), and the Detroit Pistons (45 games). He retired after the 2000-01 season due to a persistent rash of injuries.

Stat Line: 110 games, 33.5 minutes, .497 field goals, .624 free throws, 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 15.3 PER, 6.0 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 1199.9

37. Antoine Walker

When drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1996 draft by the Boston Celtics, Antoine Walker was a 6'8" power forward with the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Born on August 12th, 1976 in Chicago, IL, he was a graduate of Mount Carmel High, where he earned McDonald's All American Honors in 1994. He played two seasons under Rick Pitino with the Cats, as the team went a combined 62-7 during Walker's tenure, with a National Title in 1996. As a senior, he scored 15.2 points with 8.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per appearance.

In seven seasons with the Celtics, Walker played in 528 games and averaged 20.8 points, 8.7 boards, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He made the all-rookie team, three all star appearances, and led the NBA in three pointers in 2000-01 (221), finishing second the next two seasons (222, 188). He played in all 82 games three times, and appeared 81 times twice during his seven year run. In 26 playoff games, he scored 20.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. For all his accolades, however, the one thing he couldn't boast was an NBA title. He joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2003-04 season (82 games) before splitting 2004-05 between the Atlanta Hawks (53 games) and the Celtics (24 games). The Celtics unloaded Walker during 2005's offseason as part of a massive five-team trade that landed the ex-all-star in South Beach. He signed with the Heat for two seasons and $14,486,820.

Walker's first season with Miami would see him play in 82 games for the fifth time in his career. He shot 43.5 from the field with a 35.8 success rate from three-point range, playing 26.8 minutes and scoring 12.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and two assists per game. He finished in double digits 55 times, with four double-doubles. In the season opener on November 2nd, he scored 25 points, including four-for-seven from deep, along with a season high 16 rebounds and four assists in a 97-78 Heat win against the Memphis Grizzlies. On November 18th, in a 106-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, he sunk 11-of-13 shots overall, including three treys, with seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals in just 30 minutes. On April 11th, he scored a season high 32 points with eight rebounds, five helpers, two thefts and a rejection in a win over the Toronto Raptors, 106-97. Miami was 52-30, earning the Southeast Division Title and a second seed in the playoffs. Walker led the NBA with 48 three pointers through 23 playoff games on his and Miami's way to their first NBA title. He scored 13.3 points with 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists through the postseason.

Walker started in 15 of his 78 appearances in 2006-07, shooting just under 40% from the field and just 27.5% from three-point distance. His averages dropped to 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. He scored 10 or more points 31 times with three double-doubles. On November 5th, in a 107-98 loss to the 76ers, he scored a season best 23 points. The Heat posted a 44-38 record, again winning the division title. As the fourth seed, they faced the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls in the playoffs, losing four-games-to-none. Walker totalled 47 points with nine rebounds and six assists.

Just before the 2007-08 season, the Heat sent Walker with Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien, and a first round pick (Ty Lawson) to the Minnesota TimberWolves for Mark Blount and Ricky Davis. He played 48 games with the Wolves. After an absence from pro basketball, he returned in 2010 with the Guaynabo Mets (Puerto Rico) before joining the NBA D-League's Idaho Stampede for parts of two seasons. He retired for good during the 2012 offseason.

Stat Line: 160 games, 25.1 minutes, .419 field goals, .321 three-pointers, . 543 free throws, 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 12.2 PER, 3.4 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 1201.4