Kemba Walker
Photo: Boston Globe

For Kemba Walker, with the arrival at the Boston Celtics, a new cycle of his career has begun. After eight years spent in Charlotte, where he gave everything for that deductible, the time had come to change air and go to a team that aimed high. For him, there could be no better destination than Boston. A Celtics team, full of champions such as Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, all top-level names. In addition, there was coach Brad Stevens. A player like Kemba is the perfect point guard type for Stevens’ choral and spectacular game system, and so it was.

Ideal leader for the Celtics

Walker became the silent, fraternal and generous leader that Boston was looking for. The opposite of the kind of grumpy, moody and controversial leadership proposed in the two years since Kyrie Irving. The results are evident: an excellent third place in the East behind the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors. Then, a sparkling game, one of the most beautiful to see in the league. Moreover, this relaxed atmosphere has allowed Jayson Tatum to explode and become the complete and decisive player that the Celtics have been waiting for. Gordon Hayward is regaining confidence and returning to the All-Star level that belongs to him. And in general, the whole locker room seems to be in harmony.

Now, Kemba finally sees his value recognized in addition to his statistics. And his intention is to play the playoffs at his best, without giving himself any limits. “I think I have finally earned the respect of my colleagues and the people around the league. I’ve only been to the playoffs twice in eight years. I played well, but I never went beyond the first round. So I didn’t really do much.”

This year, however, things will change. It is possible that the Celtics will advance at least to the second round and have more than one chance of reaching the Conference Finals. It would be an opportunity for Walker to consecrate himself as a player.