I always felt Antoine was legitimately the next
player of the League. He was well-coached, highly-skilled and possessed
an ability to affect a game in a very tangible way, not the same way
that Magic or Pippen did, but somewhere in that realm, especially at
Kentucky and in his first two Celtics years.
The problem with Antoine is generally the same problem that plagued
Derrick Coleman and Rasheed Wallace—he just didn’t care enough. He
didn’t care that he could’ve been the greatest power forward to play.
Twelve years ago, I fell in love with 'Toine. The Celtics were in the midst of a horrible stretch and this brash, young forward loaded with potential was our only shining light. Hell, I even called Ted Sarandis on WEEI one night to defend my man – Employee #8.
But while he was a talented player and leader, it became clear Antoine had some major shortcomings. He was not a natural shooter (yet he played like he was). While he had some nifty moves around the basket, he didn't have the leaping ability or explosiveness to finish strong. And then there's his defense – average at best.
It's ridiculous to say that a player with all these liabilities could have become the greatest power forward if he simply worked harder.
Could Antoine have been a better player? Yes. Could Antoine have been the best? No.