Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens praises addition of Kemba Walker
How does Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens feel about the addition of Kemba Walker? Well, he recently described how special it is.
After losing Kyrie Irving and Al Horford via free agency, the narrative surrounding the Boston Celtics as a destination for free agents started to swivel back towards a not so attractive option for NBA stars. But, Kemba Walker quickly halted that pendulum.
Following a disappointing season that saw the soul and team culture ripped out of the team, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens refuses to blame any particular players for what went wrong during the season. Instead, he is praising the new players that have been brought in.
Of course, that starts with the three-time All-Star who brings a new level of leadership to the team and also shows that Boston is still a special place for NBA stars who want to win.
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“I think we’ve been fortunate,” Stevens told reporters in Las Vegas, as transcribed by MassLive.com. “Obviously this past year didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but for the better part of this time it’s gone pretty darn well and so we’ve actually been fortunate to have had that be the case more often than not. Obviously with Al a few years ago and Gordon and Kemba and other that have chosen on lesser deals to come. So Boston’s a special place, it’s a special place to play and we’re excited about it. And he’s a neat guy so I’m looking forward to having him on board.”
And Stevens knows what Walker brings to a team first hand. Not only has he watched as Kemba torched his team last season, he remembers going up against him in the college ranks while Walker was draining daggers at UConn.
It is that competitive edge and hunger to win that makes Kemba Walker an upgrade over Kyrie Irving for this particular team. With young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown poised to take the next step, a player like Walker can show them through his actions on and off the court what it takes to be an NBA superstar instead of pointing fingers when things aren’t going well.
He can also benefit a veteran like Gordon Hayward who entered the NBA with a similar drive and chip on his shoulder to be a successful NBA player.
Actually, those are the types of players Brad Stevens has the most success with. The Boston Celtics team that was led by Isaiah Thomas just a few seasons ago were filled with those types of players. In 2019-20, the Celtics coach will have another team out to prove the naysayers wrong.
With the pressure off and led by a hungry player like Kemba Walker, it will certainly be a fun season for the C’s. It may even turn out to be a very interesting one in a wide open Eastern Conference.
It all starts with inserting the soul back into the team. Brad Stevens has stamped his seal of approval to the players Danny Ainge has brought in so far.