Yes, the Celtics will also be facing former teammate Evan Fournier who will join Walker in the Knicks starting backcourt, but the bond runs deep with Kemba. Walker chose the Celtics in free agency after the departures of Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier and immediately had chemistry with Boston’s core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.
Different state but same shakes— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 20, 2021
It's all love as Kemba Walker embraces former teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum ahead of tonight's matchup in New York☘️ pic.twitter.com/32F6sSTq97
His time with the Celtics was brief, but it included a trip overseas for the FIBA World Cup in 2019 and a 2020 Eastern Conference Finals run in the bubble. Injuries plagued Walker in his two seasons in Boston, but his influence and good cheer will be forever lasting in the minds of Boston’s young players.
“It was a surprise to all of us. I think Kemba is a great teammate. Kemba is a great guy, a great person. Obviously, what the front office does is what the front office does,” Brown said before tonight’s Opening Night tip-off in Madison Square Garden.
“It was such a joy having Kemba around. For me, he was one of the people I drew inspiration from. There are things I learned from him that I added to my game. He was always somebody who, despite circumstances, despite however I felt, he was always somebody that was like, ‘be patient. Your time is coming.’ He was always that person in my ear giving my motivation. He was always that person trying to put a smile on my face, telling me, ‘it’s not that serious.’ He’d always make jokes because I can get pretty intense. Kemba was a great guy and a great friend like an older brother. I definitely miss him. I miss his energy around.”