Jayson Tatum Sends Strong Message on Former Celtics Teammate

Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics have been one of the best teams in the NBA over the last six years. Obviously, when talking about the top squads in recent history, the Golden State Warriors are the first team that comes to mind. But the Celtics have appeared in four of the last six Eastern Conference Finals.

And the wildest part about it is that they’ve done it with completely different rosters. Just one season ago, they were competing with Kemba Walker at point guard, and now, Walker is struggling to find a new team. However, based on recent social media interactions, Walker’s former teammates are still fond of him.

On July 18, a Twitter user @iohandles tweeted out a message declaring that Walker is the greatest Charlotte Hornets player of all time. Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum liked the tweet.

The tweet read, “Don’t know what exactly the debate is but Kemba Walker is easily the greatest player to ever play for the Charlotte Hornets. That’s where the conversation should end.”

Tatum and Walker spent two seasons together on the Celtics. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals in their first season together but were eliminated in the first round in Year 2.

While Walker and Tatum found some success on the Celtics, though, the point guard’s most memorable years occurred in Charlotte.

Walker’s Relationship With the Hornets

The veteran point guard spent the first eight seasons of his career in Charlotte, and for the majority of that time span, he was the team’s best player. He even managed to become the franchise leader in total points, scoring 12,009 in his time with the team.

And now, with Walker being a free agent, some have suggested that he makes a return to the franchise that drafted him. Schuyler Callihan of Sports Illustrated wrote an article detailing why the Hornets could potentially ink Walker to a deal this summer.

“In the grand scheme of things, it makes sense for both parties. Walker would have the opportunity to come back to the organization he had the most success with and potentially finish out his career in Charlotte,” Callihan wrote. “Meanwhile, the Hornets would have a quality, reliable backup veteran guard that can help mentor LaMelo Ball and officially pass him the torch.”

In his eight seasons in Charlotte, Walker averaged 19.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals on 41.8% shooting from the field and 35.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Plus, now that Steve Clifford is the head coach of the Hornets again, Walker would have that connection already in place.

“Rumors have circulated for months about a potential return to Charlotte for Kemba but with Steve Clifford back in the head coach seat, it actually has a chance of happening,” Callihan speculated. “Walker knows Clifford’s system and could help bridge the relationship between those on the roster with Clifford and his staff. “

And, as far as Walker’s past relationships go, his former teammates in Boston would love to see him get another chance to thrive.

Tatum’s Kind Words About Walker

Circling back to the initial tweet that Tatum liked, this isn’t the first time the Celtics star has expressed his respect for Walker. When Boston traded Walker away last offseason, Tatum said that he was sad to see him go, as they had become close friends.

“Kemba, that’s my man. you hate to see one of your close guys go. But, I wish nothing but the best for him wherever he goes,” Tatum said in a post-practice interview for Team USA last summer.

Jayson Tatum on the Celtics trading Kemba for Horford & Hiring Ime Udoka | USA Practice InterviewLas Vegas, NV — Jayson Tatum spoke to the media at Team USA practice and he reacted to the hiring Ime Udoka as head coach, trading Kemba Walker for Al Horford, playing in the Olympics, being Bradley Beal's teammate, and more. Jayson Tatum said about the offseason changes: "Change is good sometimes. I’m excited about…2021-07-08T01:33:25Z

While Walker didn’t exactly pan out in Boston as well as some may have hoped, it’s clear that he still has a close relationship with his former teammates.

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