It’s about as official as it can be without being official. The Woj bomb has dropped. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Saturday afternoon that Kemba Walker will be in Boston on Sunday to finalize a formal agreement with the Celtics. The contract is reported to be four years, $141 million.
The general consensus about Kemba from everyone who’s gotten to know him over the years is that he’s a great locker room guy who can be instrumental in improving a team’s chemistry. Here’s what his former UConn coach Jim Calhoun had to say about the point guard’s potential impact on the Celtics, and how it will be different than the dreadful Kyrie Irving era:
“There are very few guys you’re going to get in basketball — not only are they really good, but they make others better both psychologically, winning-wise — he can really pass the ball. … He’s a special talent who can make other players better.”
Making other players better is not something that Kyrie was able to do in Boston. Which is why Calhoun also added this:
“He’s a leader of your team, and he wants to be a leader. Kyrie is a great talent, I recruited him. But not everyone wants to be that kind of vocal leader. That’s who Kemba wants to be, and quite frankly, naturally he is.”
Woj also reported that Kyrie will indeed be signing with the Brooklyn Nets. For the second time in two years, the Celtics will be making a major change at point guard. Kemba doesn’t have Kyrie’s level of talent, but he is a better basketball player in that he values his teammates’ success just as much if not more than his own. He’ll fit flawlessly in Brad Stevens’ system and the C’s will indeed win more games and go further in the playoffs.
Last season was easily the least enjoyable of Stevens’ tenure. I’m not joking when I say I had more fun watching the Jordan Crawford C’s back in 2013-14. At least there were no expectations so we weren’t constantly disappointed. Next year they’ll be fun to watch again because there will be no questions about their leader’s commitment to winning. Celtic Pride is officially back after a one-year hiatus.