All-Star point guard, Kemba Walker’s New York homecoming isn’t shaping up to be what he or the Knicks organization thought it would be.
Wednesday (Feb.23), the Knicks announced that Kemba Walker and the organization agreed that he would sit for the remainder of the season. It has been speculated the 31-year-old guard who the Knicks rolled out the blue and orange carpet for when they first signed him saw his role on the team reduced significantly, and he grew frustrated because of it. Walker has also been giving it his all, literally playing on one leg due to severe discomfort due to knee soreness.
In a prepared statement, Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose said: “We fully support Kemba’s decision to shut it down for the remainder of the season and use this time to prepare for next season. His long-term success on the court remains our priority.”
Per ESPN, Walker’s agents, Jeff Schwartz and Javon Phillips of Excel Sports, worked with the Knicks on a plan across the Knicks’ final 23 games of the 2021-22 season. With Walker heading into the summer with an expiring contract, the hope is Schwartz, and the Knicks will work on trade scenarios in the offseason.
This season Walker averaged 11.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 25.6 minutes per game for the Knicks, a career-low for the four-time NBA All-Star. Walker showed flashes of brilliance when head coach Tom Thibodeau inserted him back into the lineup due to players battling COVID-19. In a Dec.18 loss to the Boston Celtics, Walker scored 22 points, and days later, he dropped 44 points in a Knicks loss to the Washington Wizards.
The Knicks are hoping the return of Derrick Rose will help get the ship back on course for the team that is now vying for a play-in spot. The Knicks are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference and look like a mere shadow of the team that had New York fans, including Stephen A. Smith screaming “they’re back.” It’s starting to look like last season was nothing more than a fluke.
While this seems like the best decision for both Walker and the Knicks, some fans do not feel it and think it’s just another case of the “Knicks, Knicking.”
You can see reactions to Kemba Walker shutting it down in the gallery below.
Photo: Jason Miller / Getty
4. That would be the logical move to make.
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