Kemba Walker is set to be the newest New York Knick, and he had some jokes to make about his new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Walker was supposed to be the perfect replacement for Kyrie Irving following his unhappy ending with the Celtics, and it looked like he could be, filling up the stat sheet regularly with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in his two years with Boston.
Now, the former Celtics and Hornets star will look to bring some stability and a veteran presence to an upward trending New York Knicks team that defied all expectations and finished as the fourth seed last year. For Walker, this move also marks a return back to home as he was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) August 17, 2021
Kemba Walker Jokes Around About Tom Thibodeau Overplaying His Stars
Part of the reason why the Knicks did so well last year was because of their defense. Who helped get their defense into that shape? None other than the hard nosed defensive minded head coach Tom Thibodeau.
His grind-it-out, play-as-hard-as-you-can-always mentality translated to the team as they boasted one of the stingiest units last season as they ranked first in points allowed, third in defensive rating, and first in opponents field goal percentage allowed.
Thibs also has a habit of playing his star players to the max, often pushing them to play over 38, 40 minutes in a game. Players like Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose have all dealt with the issues on the Chicago Bulls, and even in New York last year, you’d often see the starters pulling big minutes.
That’s why Kemba had a joking response to a question about his playing eligibility during the second night of a back to back. Given Thibs’ stance on playing, you can guess which he went with that answer.
Kemba Walker was asked if there is a plan for him to sit on second game of back to backs this season. He smiles and says, “You have to ask Thibs”, pointing to Tom Thibodeau in the front row of the press conference. Thibs’ response? “Playing.” A lot of laughter in the room.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 17, 2021