Kemba Walker admits he was blindsided by getting benched final week, however the Knicks level guard is placing the workforce first whereas his personal future hangs within the steadiness.
Talking for the primary time Monday since coach Tom Thibodeau took him out of the starting lineup and out of the rotation fully, Walker stated he’ll proceed to work as he waits to get again on the courtroom.
“It was robust, clearly, as a result of as a competitor, I like to play basketball,” Walker stated after apply. “I like to be on the courtroom. That is the primary time this has occurred to me in my profession, just about on any stage. However on the finish of the day, I’ve respect for coach Thibs and the choice he made. It may not have been a straightforward one, nevertheless it was a selection he made. I’ve no selection however to reside with it.
“I’ve all the time been a workforce man first. It’s not about me, it’s in regards to the workforce. So if he feels that’s what’s going to make the workforce higher, then so be it. I’m simply going to be right here for my teammates. I’m right here to assist in any manner, form or type that I can.”
Thibodeau decided to bench Walker last Monday. Since then, with Alec Burks as the brand new place to begin guard, the Knicks are 0-3, with losses to the Nets, Bulls and Nuggets. Thibodeau stated Monday he’s contemplating modifications to the lineup once more for Tuesday’s matchup towards the Spurs, however declined to specify who could possibly be concerned since he was nonetheless mulling it over.
Walker, the Bronx native who signed a two-year, $18 million contract to hitch the Knicks this summer season, was noncommittal when requested if he could be OK with a task off the bench or whether or not he desires to be a starter someplace else.
“I’m unsure. We’ll see,” Walker stated. “I don’t know.”
Within the meantime, the 31-year-old stated he would proceed to assist his teammates.
“I could possibly be pissed. I could possibly be upset,” Walker stated. “However on the finish of the day, there’s some younger guys right here who look as much as me. I’m fairly certain they needed to see how I reacted to the scenario. Anyone on my workforce down the road may be in the identical scenario. Possibly I is usually a function mannequin in that facet. It was robust, however on the finish of the day, it’s simply not about me. I’m a workforce man first, I’ve all the time been — you’ll be able to ask anyone who I’ve ever performed with. I’ve all the time been a workforce man first. I really like being round my teammates. I’m going to cheer them on till I can’t anymore. That’s what it’s about.”