Kemba Walker was all smiles during his Celtics career, but he apparently was hiding something.
Boston on Friday traded the star guard to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal that included a reunion with Al Horford, but really was a salary dump. The trade represented the first roster move for former head coach Brad Stevens, who recently replaced Danny Ainge as Celtics president of basketball operations.
On Saturday afternoon, Jared Weiss of The Athletic offered insight on the relationship between Walker and Stevens, and the details aren’t pretty.
Check out these excerpts:
According to multiple team sources, there was some dysfunction in the locker room, with the relationship between Stevens and Walker characterized as tension-filled. Sources also suggest that Stevens was also perceived to be harder on Walker than on other top players.
This came in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s departure, after which sources said Hayward told Stevens he needed to establish a stronger voice with players if they were going to win.
Several team sources felt Stevens was more aggressive with certain players this season, which included Walker who was criticized for his defensive mistakes. Those sources said Walker and Stevens began to butt heads, though the pair were considered to have a productive working relationship and mutual respect for one another.
Now that’s a juicy rumor.
Ultimately, Walker’s exit and apparent issues with Stevens represent a disappointing conclusion to what once seemed like a match made in heaven.