Boston Celtics

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 17: Kemba Walker #8 of the New York Knicks poses for a photo after a press conference at Madison Square Garden on August 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

Ex-Celtics guard Kemba Walker has seemingly said all the right things since his trade out of Boston. It’s probably helped that Walker did not end up stuck with the rebuilding Thunder, and is instead with his hometown Knicks.

But that doesn’t mean the 31-year-old Walker is ready to treat Wednesday’s season-opening head-to-head with the Celtics like any other contest.

“Does it matter? Of course. It’s my old team,” Walker admitted. “Yeah, it matters. But I don’t go into any game thinking I want to lose, you know? So, I definitely want to win. Does it make it that much better that it’s my old team? Yeah, no question.”

Walker’s previously noted that the Celtics traded him while he was on vacation, which will most definitely give you a little extra juice when seeing ’em for the first time. And it’s a decision that still seems to leave Walker wondering.

“I wasn’t expecting to get traded,” Walker, who originally joined the Celtics on a max contract in 2019, said. “I’ve never been expected to be traded from a team, especially just because of the person I am and the kind of teammate I am, but obviously it’s not about that. It’s about what you bring to the table, and I wasn’t there all the time on the court. So obviously, that was an issue. So, I guess that’s why it didn’t work.”

If the Celtics are wondering what to expect from Walker in what sounds like a ‘revenge’ game for their former starting point guard, perhaps it’s worth mentioning that Walker averaged 18.2 points and shot 43.4 percent (35.6 percent from deep) in five meetings with the Hornets throughout his Boston tenure.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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.