Kemba Walker should be a breath of fresh air for the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics have moved on from the failed Kyrie Irving experiment by adding Walker to the mix. It will be hard to find anyone who truly believes Walker’s talent matches that of Irving, but as the 2018-19 Celtics can attest, it’s not always about talent.
The Irving-led Celtics looked lost for most of the season, and Irving’s unceremonious exit was met mostly with exultation, as many fans (and perhaps some players, too) were happy to have the polarizing point guard’s drama in the rearview. That transition will be made even easier by the fact Walker is coming to Boston. Not only does he have All-Star talent. Walker also seemingly possesses the intangibles that should give Boston some much-needed improvement when it comes to the organization’s culture.
Walker bid Charlotte goodbye in an emotional post on The Players’ Tribune, and the UConn product also spoke directly to Celtics fans and gave them the lowdown on what to expect from him for the next four seasons.
“I?m more of the quiet type. I’m a man of few words,” Walker wrote. “… I?m a leader in my own way. I?m never going to shout anyone off the court or get overly negative. It?s not my style. But what I do is I take pride in making my teammates better — I?m that lead by example type. I like to keep it direct.”
That sure sounds like a far cry from when Irving publicly lambasted the younger Celtics players in the media last season, huh?
Walker continued: “I take my responsibilities as a professional very seriously — but I also try not to lose sight of why I?m here in the first place. I love this game. So we?re going to grind for those buckets?.. we?re going to grind for those stops?.. but I?ll tell you what else: we?re going to have some fun out there. And you can bet we?re going to be fun to watch.”
Another welcomed change, if Walker is able to come through on his promises.
But the most important thing Walker wants to bring to Boston is a focus solely on returning a championship contender to TD Garden.
“I?m a winner. I?ve always been a winner. It?s who I am — or at least who I strive to be — anytime I step foot on the court,” he writes. ” … I mean, that?s why I feel like it?s a match made in heaven. I want to win here, badly — and I?m excited to prove myself as that type of player in this league. I want to elevate myself into that Boston winning tradition. I want to get this team back on top.”
Surely it’s a tall task, but if Walker can deliver all of this, he’ll be a king in Boston.