“I’m just happy to be here and playing with the guys that I’ve been playing with for a long time,” said Celtics’ Kyrie Irving after he was traded from Cleveland.
The kemba walker knee injury is a question that has been asked in the NBA. Walker injured his knee and was replaced by former teammate, Kemba Walker. Does it make it that much better that it’s my old team? Yeah, no question.
As he prepares to make his debut with the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, Kemba Walker may get immediate pleasure.
The New York Knicks will take against the Boston Celtics, who traded Walker over the summer. Kemba wants to start the 2021-22 season off well with his hometown club, and he’s using a date with his former teammates as a motivation to do so.
Kemba Walker was traded by the Celtics this summer before signing with the Knicks.
Even if Kemba Walker didn’t realize it, the writing was on the wall in Boston.
In his first season in Boston, Walker provided the Celtics with precisely what they needed: a playmaking guard who could create off the bounce and shoot from the outside. He also took on the position of experienced leader for the club, mentoring young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on their path to success.
During the 2019-20 season, Kemba was selected an All-Star starter. However, things quickly started to deteriorate. In January 2020, the former Charlotte Hornets player started suffering knee problems, which lasted for the greater part of the next year and a half. In 2020-21, he missed 29 games and struggled mightily in the playoffs, scoring only 12.7 points on 31.7 percent shooting in a defeat to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
With Walker’s persistent knee problems and money due in the coming seasons, the Celtics felt it was time to part ways with him. They sold Kemba to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford and Moses Brown, who was subsequently moved to the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Josh Richardson transaction.
Walker and the Thunder, who are still rebuilding, agreed to a buyout, and he ended up signing a two-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks. The Bronx native is ecstatic to be putting on the shoes for his local club, and he’s even more ecstatic to have an early opportunity to avenge the Celtics.
Walker is eager to prove himself against his former teammates.
When asked whether playing against Boston mattered to him, Kemba Walker said, “Does it matter? Yes, of course. It’s a former team of mine. Yes, it is significant. I never go into a game intending to lose, you know? I’m determined to win. Does the fact that it’s my former team make it any better? “Without a doubt.”
October 19, 2021 — Ian Begley (@IanBegley)
It’s unclear if Kemba Walker has the opening game of the season marked on his calendar. He does, however, seem to be looking forward to facing the Celtics.
Walker made a generic remark Tuesday, stating that he plays every game to win. He did, however, admit to taking an early shot at Boston (h/t Ian Begley of SNY.tv).
“Does it make a difference?” Yes, of course. It’s a former team of mine. Yes, it is significant. I never go into a game expecting to lose, you know? I’m determined to win. Is it any consolation that it’s my former team? “Without a doubt.”
Kemba Walker (Kemba Walker)
Despite the fact that the 31-year-old seems to have good memories of his two-year stint in Boston, there is a feeling of bitterness about how things ended with the Celtics.
Walker told ESPN’s Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post podcast that his time with the Celtics was “amazing” and that he still communicates with former teammates. However, he claimed he had no previous information of his impending transfer and was perplexed when rumors surfaced that his team had decided it was time for a change.
Walker, in any event, will open a new chapter against his former club on Wednesday. What will his next step be in his career?
For the Knicks, Walker might be a swing player.
On October 15, 2021, in New York City, Kemba Walker #8 of the New York Knicks controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during a preseason game at Madison Square Garden. | Getty Images/Steven Ryan
The health of Kemba Walker may determine whether the Knicks improve on their playoff spot from last season or become one of the Eastern Conference’s greatest disappointments.
Walker is one of the best point guards in the NBA when he’s in good physical shape. During the 2019-20 season, he averaged 21.8 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.1 rebounds in 46 games before the All-Star break, when his knee problems started to take their toll.
If the Knicks can get the above-mentioned version of Walker, they’ll be able to maintain their status as one of the East’s most intriguing teams. Last season, New York gave Elfrid Payton a lot of playing time as point guard. When he’s on the court, Walker is a significant improvement over Payton.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing how Walker’s mileage and previous knee issues will affect him this season. It’ll be fascinating to watch how head coach Tom Thibodeau manages his experienced backcourt point guard combination, particularly with Derrick Rose out with an early injury.
When the Knicks and Celtics meet at the Garden on Wednesday night, Walker will most likely be trying to prove his former club that he’s still an All-Star-caliber player in the NBA.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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