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Seeing Kemba Walker Look Sad As Hell Talking About His Future Is Very Depressing

I won't try and talk about this from a Knicks fan perspective, Clem and Reags can speak to that. But I will say as an outsider looking in, it looks like the move to take Kemba out of the rotation was something Thibs pretty much had to do. Things weren't working, the offense was not outweighing the defensive issues, so I get it. 

But as someone who thoroughly enjoys watching Kemba play and went through 2 years of the Kemba experience, both the good and the bad, this just sucks to watch. I think most Celts fans had the same reaction once we first learned Kemba got traded. You felt for the guy. He's someone that finally got out of Charlotte and immediately played like an All Star. His play and everything that comes with it were awesome to watch. Then his knee issues started. He played way too much in the All Star game and that was that. It just sucks that a guy that was an iron man through his first 8 years in the league suddenly couldn't stay healthy when he finally had a chance to compete. Even the version of Kemba we saw play last year wasn't even quite as bad as the Kemba we've seen this year, and this was when he was supposed to be healthy. You hear people around the league talk about Kemba and everyone loves him. There's a reason for that, it's because he's genuinely an awesome person and a better teammate. 

When he made his way to the Knicks, I tweeted about how even though his contract was much lower, the issues around his game still existed, and that's something the Knicks were going to have to figure out. The same is true for Fournier. The key to dealing with Kemba's defensive shortcomings is that his offense has to come through. You can find ways within a scheme to hide those defensive issues, but he was always going to be targeted even if he made $8M and not $30M. They've seen their defense go from top 5 to 23rd in the league. That's a huge dropoff that can largely be explained to their roster construction. It's not like Thibs forgot how to coach defense.

So what comes next? You could make the case that Kemba is at a crossroads in his career. The reality of his situation is that a starting job is probably gone, especially on any "contending" team and even some rebuilding ones. Just look around the league, who is going to be banging down the Knicks door to have Kemba be their starting point guard? If he's open to coming off the bench, I'm still not even sure that's the best fit for the team he's currently on. They have DRose for that. As a reserve player, I imagine Kemba's market is a little bigger because it's not going to cost a ton to get him. You're not going to have to give up a legit young prospect or even a first round pick I would imagine. 

There are some options that make sense in theory. Go look at the Nuggets roster. They've been decimated with injuries and need guard depth big time. I could see that as a possibility. The Raptors are someone I wouldn't rule out since they are looking to get rid of Dragic and don't exactly have a ton of guard depth either. You can never rule out the Lakers, a team that loves to bring in older more established star names. Kemba is certainly more moveable given his new contract, but it has to be to a team that is already built to overcome his weaknesses. 

I just hate seeing Kemba look so depressed. Shit sucks. I miss seeing the happy, smiling Kemba even if it was happening for the Knicks. He's someone that I'll always root for. He's not egotistical and always supports his teammates, he never causes locker room drama and when he's in one of his Kemba zone's he's so much fun to watch offensively. It's impossible to not root for a guy like Kemba, so I hope this all works out for him. Maybe it's on the Knicks as a reserve, maybe it's somewhere else, but as long as I tried to hold onto the hope that there was still vintage Kemba somewhere in there, it does look like those days are coming to an end.