Kemba Walker Not Thinking He Has to Be ‘Better Than Kyrie Last Year’

by August 08, 2019

Kemba Walker doesn’t feel any pressure to “be better” than Kyrie Irving was in Boston last season.

Walker, who went through some “fucking tough days” this summer as he left the Charlotte Hornets as an unrestricted free agent, says he simply wants to “contribute to winning” for his new team.

The All-Star point guard adds that he’s embracing the high expectations that come with putting on a Celtics jersey.

Per The Athletic:

“I’m not trying to go in and think that I have to be better than Kyrie last year,” Walker said. “It happens. Great players go to teams all the time and it just doesn’t work. It just didn’t work for him. Kyrie is one of the best players we have in this world. It was just unfortunate, an unfortunate season.

“I’m not coming in thinking I’m going to be better. I’m coming in to do my job, play my part and do what I can to elevate these guys as much as possible. Do what I can to help the team, to contribute to winning. These guys, they’ve been winning for years. I want to be part of that. This is a big-time roster. The guys that make up the roster, there’s such great young talent — guys who are hungry, who want to win and want to get better and work hard. That’s who I want to be around.

“Point guards can have great success under Coach. Obviously Kyrie left, so it was an open point guard spot. It was just perfect. Boston is such a historic place. Who wouldn’t want to play for the Celtics?”

How will Walker handle the newfound pressure?

“I haven’t wrapped my mind around contending at this high level,” Walker told The Athletic. “It doesn’t even sound right. I’ve been with the Hornets for eight years, and maybe one time we had some expectations. Maybe just one season; seven-, six-seed or something. This year, there will be expectations — and I’m excited. I don’t know how to feel, I’ve never had this feeling.”

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