Newly acquired Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will start their New York Knicks career facing their old team.
The Knicks will host the Boston Celtics at the Garden onÂ October 20 as part of the NBAâ€™s Opening Week. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:30 pm ET.
Walker played for two seasons with the Celtics before he was shipped to Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford. Walker completed a buyout with the Thunder and joined his hometown team, Knicks, on a $18 million, two-year deal.
Fournier, on the other hand, arrived in New York via a sign-and-trade agreement with the Celtics. He was Celticsâ€™ trade-deadline acquisition who was eyed to be the teamâ€™s third scoring option behind Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown when Walker was shipped out.
But Fournier and the Celtics couldn not agree to a new deal and the Knicks landed him on a $78 million, four-year deal with the last year as team option.
Walker and Fournier are expected to start for the Knicks replacing the ineffective Elfrid Payton, who signed with Phoenix, and 3-and-D forward Reggie Bullock, who went to Dallas.
The Knicksâ€™ rise to relevance have earned them a Christmas playdate against emerging rival Atlanta Hawks.
Here is the complete TV schedule for the opening week of the NBA & Christmas games. pic.twitter.com/IkvqDW9OYU
— alder almo (@alderalmo) August 17, 2021
The Knicks will host the Hawks at the Garden 12 noon to be aired over ESPN.
The Hawks, led by Trae Young, beat the Knicks, 4-1, in the first round of the playoffs last season.
With a retooled starting lineup, the Knicks are hoping to improve on their fourth seed finish and first round exit.
It will be the Knicksâ€™ first Christmas game since 2018 when they lost to Milwaukee Bucks, 109-95. The Knicks are 22-31 on the holiday games.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo