Last week, New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau decided to permanently remove Kemba Walker from the team's rotation.
It was a stunning move, given that Walker was believed to be a significant piece of the Knicks’ puzzle this year as they attempted to build on last season’s success.
In the days since, Walker’s name has been floated in a blockbuster trade proposal, but nothing has officially materialized thus far.
This week, Walker finally got brutally honest about his benching and how he feels about it.
"I could be p-ssed, but at the end of the day there are some young guys here who look up to me. Maybe I can be a role model," Walker said, via SNY. "I love being around my teammates, and I'm going to cheer them on until I can't anymore."
Kemba Walker on being out of the rotation:
“It was tough because I’m a competitor. But I’ve always been a team guy first. If he feels it’s going to make the team better, so be it.” pic.twitter.com/GkEHj5UHwU
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 6, 2021
Walker originally joined the Knicks this past summer on a two-year, $20 million deal. Prior to getting benched, he averaged a career-low 11.1 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.
In a way, Walker’s benching became something of an inevitability after his average dipped to 10 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent shooting from beyond the arc in November.
The 11-12 Knicks are clearly in scramble mode right now. Whatever they are currently doing definitely isn’t working.
Will sitting Walker ultimately pump some life back into this squad? Time will tell.