No taker for former Knicks PG Kemba Walker

Alder Almo
knicks, kemba walker

Kemba Walker’s dream New York homecoming ended in a nightmare. Now, it’s taking a sharp turn for the worse.

The Knicks traded Walker to the Detroit Pistons as a salary dump in the offseason, a move that landed them the much younger and healthier Jalen Brunson to helm their backcourt.

Walker is still on the Pistons roster, but they have mutually agreed that he would be away from the team as he seeks a better opportunity elsewhere. The only problem is no NBA team has shown interest so far.

Walker showed up in Charlotte last Friday when the Pistons visited the Hornets, his first NBA team, where he is their franchise scoring leader.

“That would be special [to return to Charlotte]. [But] as far as closing my career, I’ve got a few more years left in my opinion, so I’m not thinking about that yet. We’ll see. I’m just waiting. [Nobody’s] reached out to me. I’m just waiting.”

Kemba Walker via Boston Globe

The Hornets might take a gamble on him as a depth piece after their current franchise cornerstone LaMelo Ball went down with an ankle injury.

When healthy, Walker can still light it up. But that has become a rare occurrence rather than the norm.

He had a six-game hot stretch bridging the end of November and December last year, which included a season-high 44-point performance against Washington and a Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta. But his nagging knee injury has kept him in and out of the lineup and made him a bigger liability on defense.

“It’s never been basketball [performance]. It’s just been my knee. I don’t have [anything] to prove. Everybody knows what I’m about over the years, what I have done in this league.”

Kemba Walker via Boston Globe

Last season was the worst in his career just a year after his knee began to bother him in Boston. The former three-time All-Star guard had more DNPs than double-digit scoring games.

Walker only appeared in 37 games and averaged 11.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists, all career-lows. But the 32-year-old point guard still believes he has more to offer.

“I’ve got something in the tank, for sure. I feel great. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to have my opportunity. I’m not in any rush right now. I’m just grinding and trying to feel as good as I can. And right now, I feel great. I feel as good as I’ve felt in a long time. I’m just waiting for the opportunity.”

Kemba Walker via Boston Globe

Where and when that opportunity will come from is a big question mark.

Far removed from his All-Star years, Walker is no longer seeking a starting role. All he wants is an opportunity to get back, which is rare for an oft-injured small guard. Ask another former Celtic, Isaiah Thomas.

“I just want to be able to play basketball again; I don’t care if it’s the bench or not. I started off my career playing basketball coming off the bench. Who cares? I just want to be able to play ball like I love to do, being around some great, great teammates and just have fun.”

Kemba Walker via Boston Globe

Walker’s fun days are now replaced with dog days. His NBA career is on life support.

Is this the end of the road?

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