Celtics GM Danny Ainge says it’s not Kemba Walker’s responsibility to draw the best out of his teammates
It has been a long-standing belief that it’s the responsibility of an NBA superstar to bring the best out of his teammates, and that is what’s expected from All-Star guard Kemba Walker as he takes on the lead role for the Boston Celtics.
However, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge doesn’t see things the way most people do.
In an interview with Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, Ainge said that drawing out the best out of anyone shouldn’t be put on Walker’s shoulders alone.
“I don’t really look for other people to draw out anything from anybody. I expect him to be at his best, that’s all. Work hard and be who he is. He doesn’t have to try to draw anything out from any of the other guys…It’s not anybody’s responsibility to draw the best out in every other player.”
The Celtics have a bunch of players who are still young but have already shown that they can rise up in big moments and crucial situations. It is exactly what they did two years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Guys like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are already experienced enough to stand their ground against the rest of the league.
Still, Ainge believes that playing with Walker will make the Celtics better overall, and his motivation to win should be enough to encourage his teammates to play at the same level as he is.
“I see Kemba as a good fit with anybody,” Ainge added. “He’s a really good player. He’s smart and is experienced and wants to win. He’s accomplished a lot of things individually and he just really hasn’t been able to accomplish the team goals since winning the national championship in college. But I think that’s what he is hoping for. He’s at the stage of his life where that’s all that matters.”
When Kemba signed with the Celtics, he said that this is the team that can help him achieve his dream of competing for championships. It may take time before they are considered as legitimate title contenders, but with enough patience and effort, they could be at that stage sooner than what most people expect.