WALKER: I just give honest opinions

Recently more and more people are suggesting that I am not open minded about Billy Gillispie because of my bias for Tubby Smith. That kind of started last year and has come back more now.

I try to be fair in my disagreements. I think people get a little mixed up sometimes thinking that I don't want Billy to do well or that I don't want Kentucky to do well. The only thing I do is give an honest opinion. For some reason, a lot of fans don't like that and it has taken on a life of its own. But I am going to continue to be true in I disagreements and I hope people can look at as my opinion. You don't necessarily have to agree with it, but I think I am qualified. I have played at a lot of levels and I played here, so I definitely know what the pressure and high expectations are like.

I did criticize Tubby at the end of his tenure here for some things he did, or didn't do, and that sometimes gets lost on people. A lot of people get upset when I get into the basketball part of it. On a recent radio show, I was asked who did I think was the best coach Kentucky had had since Adolph Rupp.

I answered the most politically correct way I could. Pitino was the most popular and most exciting. I thought Joe B. Hall had the most pressure following Rupp. Eddie Sutton is still the best man to man defensive coach I have played for. But if you take away the recruiting part and style of play and just look at the X's and O's, then I think Tubby is perhaps the best coach during games.

But for some reason I get criticized for that. I think Tubby is a very good coach. I think he was unfairly portrayed here to a certain extent, but he had faults as well. Style of play hurt his effort to get really good recruits to come here to play. But he is also the coach that took the least talent and did the best.

I think what has happened is when Tubby left the fan base was divided. You had people who liked Tubby and thought he was treated unfairly and then you had people who wanted Tubby gone. I think now that Tubby is gone, a lot of people who don't like Billy are saying, ‘I told you so. This guy was not the guy to replace Tubby.' But those who wanted Tubby gone are the ones saying to be patient and are being critical of people like myself.

I hope Billy Gillispie can deal with the high expectations, pressure and criticism. Look at all the coaches before him. They did in a different way and style. We are still trying to figure out his style and personality. Hopefully one day we will get the answer. But to be fair to him, give him another year to get his guys in and then if same problems persist next year at this time, then put the blame on him.

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