The Celtics almost fell out of luck in replacing Kyrie Irving last offseason.
Celtics star point guard Kemba Walker revealed on The Ringer’s “R2C2” podcast that he almost picked playing for the Knicks rather than the Celtics when he was a free agent in 2019.
“To be honest, yes. Yes. Very serious, very,” Walker said when he was asked if he seriously considered playing for the Knicks. “At one point – yes, very serious.”
Was there ever a chance @KembaWalker would play for the Knicks?
— The Ringer (@ringer) August 6, 2020
Walker, who is a New York native and grew up in The Bronx, even said that playing in New York was a priority for him.
“Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks were one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were gonna get another player,” Walker said. “But it didn’t work out.”
When asked by Ryan Ruocco, one of the show’s hosts, if the “other player’s name rhymed with Slevin Lurant” (implying that the other player was Kevin Durant), Walker said it wasn’t.
Durant was rumored to join the Knicks months prior to the 2019 offseason. He ended up joining New York’s other team, the Brooklyn Nets, with Irving.
Walker, of course, ended up in Boston as part of a sign-and-trade with his former team, the Charlotte Hornets, after he signed a four-year, $141 million deal.
Former Yankees star C.C. Sabathia, the podcast’s other host, said that Walker made the right decision.
“You made the right choice, dog,” Sabathia said while laughing. “I’ma say it for you. You made the right choice, bro.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much all I can say, though,” Walker replied. “The Knicks, they were definitely a priority at one point, yes.”
Looking ahead, there have been concerns about Walker’s left knee injury, which has caused the Celtics to play him on limited minutes basis in the seeding games.
However, toward the end of the podcast, Walker said that his knee is going to be good for the playoffs.
“The rest of the season’s going to be great,” Walker said. “I’m going to be good. My knee’s going to be good. I’m going to hold up and we’re going to make a run. We’re going to play as hard as we can each and every night while playing some inspiring basketball.”
You can listen to the full episode of the podcast here.
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