“I Was Harassed, Abused”: Spurs NBA Star Opens Up on the Tragic Incidents of His Childhood

The 18th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft Class, Lonnie Walker IV has had a slow start to his life at San Antonio Spurs. In his rookie season, he barely featured 17 times for them. But now he has worked up the ladder and has established himself as a valuable part of their rotation. Along with his athleticism, he was known for his iconic ‘pineapple’ hair.

It was a surprise for everyone on Twitter when he decided to cut it off. Then around 10 hours later, in a long Instagram caption, Walker explained the painful story behind making the decision. Walker has had this hairstyle since he was in the 5th grade.

“It was a cloaking device for me. I was sexually harassed, raped, abused, I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what is what. I was a gullible curious kid that didn’t know what the real world was. My hair was what I can make and create and be mine. And it gave me confidence. Me cutting my hair was more th an a cut. My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurity that I felt the world wasn’t ready for. But now better than ever. Out with old. In with the new.”

Earning his stripes in the NBA

Despite being through all pain, Walker has shown immense composure to perform at the big stage. He has worked hard and earned a spot in the Spurs team after a good G-League run last season. Athleticism is his main attribute but he has shown he can be a threat from outside the perimeter as well. He may not have enough attempts to qualify as a sharpshooter yet but with more touches, he can prove to be a 3&D asset.

He has been compared to both Victor Oladipo and Clyde Drexler but he has a long way to go before he can match their level. There are no questions about his potential. But he needs to work on his finishing more because as a slasher his efficiency at the rim has to be better. At 55.6 percent at the rim and 53.3 percent within five feet of the bucket, he is among the worst at converting close to the basket among players with similar attempts. His ball-handling needs improvement but that will come naturally to him as he gets involved more.

For San Antonio, Walker could prove to be a franchise player alongside fellow young guard Dejounte Murray. They have the potential to be one of the best two-way backcourts in the NBA.