Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JULY 17: Kemba Walker reacts during a press conference as he is introduced as a member of the Boston Celtics at the Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters on July 17, 2019. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

New Celtics point guard Kemba Walker continues to say all the right things.

His recent chat with The Athletic’s Shams Charania was no different.

In the sitdown, the 29-year-old Walker spoke candidly about his time with the Charlotte Hornets, mentioning that he desperately wanted to find a way to make it work with the Hornets, even with the Hornets having made just two postseason appearances in Walker’s eight-year run. He discussed the situation with Hornets owner Michael Jordan, seemingly coming to terms with the fact that Jordan did not want to go into the luxury tax to keep Walker on what would have been the richest contract in the franchise’s history.

But when reality set in, forcing Walker to look elsewhere, he couldn’t deny the appeal of coming to Boston.

“Point guards can have great success under [Brad Stevens],” Walker noted. “Obviously Kyrie left, so it was an open point guard spot. It was just perfect. Boston is such a historic place. Who wouldn’t want to play for the Celtics?”

Well, the guy he’s replacing (Kyrie Irving) didn’t want to. And given Irving’s importance to the Celtics over the last two seasons, it’s easy to assume or hope that Walker is going to be a plug and play replacement for Irving. But Walker has no intentions of trying to ‘replace’ Irving from a statistical or leadership standpoint. He instead plans to do whatever he can to help take this young Celtic squad to the level that returns the Green to true championship-contending status.

“I’m coming in to do my job, play my part and do what I can to elevate these guys as much as possible,” Walker told Charania. “Do what I can to help the team, to contribute to winning. These guys, they’ve been winning for years. I want to be part of that. This is a big-time roster. The guys that make up the roster, there’s such great young talent — guys who are hungry, who want to win and want to get better and work hard. That’s who I want to be around.”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.

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