The Boston Celtics managed to replace one All-Star point guard with another this offseason in signing Kemba Walker after Kyrie Irving’s departure.
Walker, 29, comes to Boston after averaging 25.6 points and 5.9 assists in 82 games last year for the Charlotte Hornets. It’s clear he can play at a high level, but NBA coaches give him the stamp of approval as well.
Steve Clifford, now at the helm for the Orlando Magic, coached Walker for five seasons in Charlotte and, according to the 57-year-old, it was one of the best experiences in his long NBA career.
“For me, this year will be 20 years in the NBA, and having the chance to coach him will be one of the best experiences I?ve had in those 20 years,” Clifford told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I think what people there will find is that he?s not only a terrific player and a great competitor, but he?s team-first. It means a lot to him to be a good teammate and to play in a way that the team plays well when he?s on the floor.”
Walkers tendencies will put him in good graces with Celtics fans right off the bat, especially after Boston’s roller coaster ride with Irving.
“The best way to say it is that he cares about the right things,” Clifford said. “That?s just how he?s built.”