Celtics star Kemba Walker ‘never right’ in bubble, Danny Ainge claims
Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge has come to the defense of star point guard Kemba Walker after his somewhat pedestrian overall performance inside the Disney World bubble. According to Ainge, Walker was playing through an injury, which had an adverse effect on his game.
Ainge revealed how Walker was never a hundred percent throughout the duration of the bubble:
Danny Ainge says that Kemba Walker was "never right" at any point inside the bubble, despite his stats, and says that Walker also never used that as an excuse to anyone. Says the goal for the team in the offseason is to get Walker healthy and back to the player he can be.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) October 1, 2020
Previous reports stated that Walker was playing through a bum knee, but following Boston’s Eastern Conference Finals defeat against the Toronto Raptors, Walker himself refused to make excuses. Nevertheless, Ainge’s revelation here puts Walker’s play into perspective. While he wasn’t awful, he also did not step up for the team when they needed him most.
That’s all water under the bridge now, and the Celtics will now need to start preparing for the new campaign soon enough. According to Ainge, one of their priorities will be focusing on Walker’s health:
“We will have a full plan for Kemba in the offseason in the next week or two weeks, regardless of what the medical tests come back with,” Ainge said, via Keith Smith of CelticsBlog. “There is no surgery needed, as far as I know. I could see he was definitely not himself.”
Walker arrived in Boston last summer as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Charlotte Hornets. He has three more years to go on his current deal, which includes a player option for the 2022-23 campaign. He’s expected to pocket $108 million over the next three seasons.