It sounds like Kemba Walker just wants to play.
It’s unclear when the NBA season will resume, but several team and league officials told SI.com that any chance of a traditional postseason is out, suggesting this year’s path to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy could get weird.
NBC Sports Boston recently floated the idea of a single-elimination playoff format — a la the NCAA Tournament — to Walker, and the Celtics point guard acknowledged he’s open to such a change.
“I guess I wouldn’t mind it,” Walker said. “I love to hoop. At this point it doesn’t really matter because of the way things went and suddenly the season just got postponed.”
The NBA suspended its season indefinitely on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Several other players since have tested positive, including Celtics guard Marcus Smart, and a dark cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the entire sports landscape as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic.
But sports will return at some point, and the hope is the NBA will be able to salvage its 2019-20 campaign, even if that requires radical changes to the usual postseason format.
If nothing else, a one-and-done tourney sure would be entertaining, and Walker already knows a thing or two about thriving under such conditions, having won a national championship with UConn in 2011.
“It would be fun,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “It would be different.”
The Celtics (43-21) currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, trailing just the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) and Toronto Raptors (46-18). All three teams have clinched playoff spots.
Walker, an All-Star in his first season with the Celtics, also told NBC Sports Boston he’s “doing well” with his lingering knee issue during the current sports pause.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images