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Bill Walker has faith O.J. Mayo can make NBA return after doping ban

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Former NBA guard O.J. Mayo is set to enter the final year of his two-year suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug program.

In light of that, there was a recent report that he is getting himself back into playing shape with eyes toward potentially returning to the NBA once his ban is completed.

His longtime friend and former NBA player Bill Walker recently told Karlo Sacamos of Sports Interactive Network that he believes Mayo will be able to get back to the league.

“I think he’s mature enough to know the steps he needs to take to get back to where he belongs,” he added. “He’s super talented, man. I know that he’s got the heart and he’s got the fortitude to climb back up out of wherever he’s at, his suspension, and stuff like that.

“I know he’s got the skill and the talent, and the love, and dedication to get back there. And I believe he will,” Walker concluded.

This time away from the game has likely provided Mayo with the chance to reflect and learn from his previous mistakes that got him banned from the NBA. This next opportunity could likely be his last to continue playing in the league.

Mayo had spent eight years in the NBA playing with the Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, and Dallas Mavericks averaging 13.8 points per game. He had developed into a proven scorer option that can either start or come off the bench.

Ultimately, this could help earn another shot with another team once his suspension is up next summer. In the meantime, his primary focus has been to get his body ready for the grind of an NBA season.