Former Celtic Kemba Walker ‘Didn’t Know’ About Trade to OKC

Getty Images Kemba Walker of the Knicks during a press conference at Madison Square Garden

New York Knicks veteran and former Boston Celtics All-Star Kemba Walker recently joined ESPN’s The Zach Lowe Post podcast and dished out how things went down over the summer between him and the Celtics.

Walker, who was traded along with the 16th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and a 2025 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford and Moses Brown, was asked about the Celtics organization.

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Kemba Walker: ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Going to be Traded’

With a constant turnover over the years — whether at starting point guard or at the helm, such as Brad Stevens moving upstairs from head coach to president of basketball operations — host Zach Lowe asked Walker what’s the reason things are always awry for the Celtics?

“I have no idea, man. I can’t really answer that. I don’t know,” Walker replied, per ESPN’s The Zach Lowe Post podcast. “I am who I am. I feel like I’m the most absolute positive person there can be. I come in with a great attitude all the time. I’m always smiling. I’m always uplifting and my time there was great. My time there was great. I had great teammates. I talk to those guys all the time, still to this day. To be honest, I didn’t know I was going to be traded.”

Some reports, including an initial story by Bleacher Report’s Farbod Esnaashri, suggested Walker and the Celtics agreed to part ways before a trade actually materialized, per BR’s sources — which is an assumption Walker says isn’t true.

“I’ve seen something where they said “people from my camp” and I don’t know, man. I am who I am and that’s where I wanted to be because that’s where I was,” Walker added. “I never wanted to be a guy who got traded. That’s not something I wasn’t even thinking about.”

Kemba Walker ‘Looking Forward’ to Debut Vs. Celtics

After working out a buyout with the Thunder, Walker agreed to a two-year deal, worth $17.8 million with the New York Knicks. The Bronx native will make his regular-season debut against his former team in the Celtics at Madison Square Garden, next Wednesday.

“I would be absolutely lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this first game and the crowd is going to be absolutely crazy in there,” Walker said. “I’ve seen the playoffs, I’ve seen those guys play against the Hawks last season and I’ve seen how intense the crowd was. So, I could only imagine this season. Having the same guys and adding Evan (Fournier) and myself. I’m from here, which is going to bring that extra loudness to the arena. It’s going to be insane and I can’t wait.”

Fresh off of an injury-plagued season, which came to an end during the opening round of Boston’s best-of-7 series against the Brooklyn Nets due to an ailing left knee, Walker’s feeling much better heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

“Guys go through injuries all the time. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last,” Walker said. “My knee feels really, really good. I’ve done everything I can to make myself feel as good as possible. And these guys, the trainers over here, are doing their best job to make me feel as good as possible.”


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