Having a strong relationship with Brad Stevens is a top priority for Kemba Walker

Nick Friar
July 17, 2019 - 4:08 pm

The Celtics’ winning tradition and list of legendary players are typical reasons mentioned by NBA players once they’ve joined Boston and are asked what went into their decision. Those certainly seem like reason enough to join the team. But there was more to Kemba Walker’s process.

The chance at what he views as a homecoming, having played at UConn for three years and growing up in New York, was appealing. He also likes the prospect of playing for Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who he’s observed from afar at the NBA level and up close in college — having beat Stevens’ Butler team in the NCAA title game in 2011.

One thing about Stevens-led teams that Walker’s noticed is point guards are able to thrive on the offensive end.

“Point guards are very successful. (They) score a lot,” Walker said before he paused for laughter from those on hand. “But yeah, point guards are very successful. He’s a great coach. I know he watches tons of film and that’s just from being around him just for a few days (that) I know that. I’m excited to get things going. Learning him some more. Him learning me more. I only got a chance to play against him, so (there’s) still a lot that we both have to learn from each other and we’ll get there. There’s nothing more important to me than having a great relationship with your head coach. So, we’ll get there.”

And the amount of film Stevens watches is only a component of the bigger picture that’s come to Walker’s attention. Boston’s new point guard has already identified just how passionate his new coach is about the game.

“He loves basketball,” Walker said. “He loves basketball. Like, that’s all he talks about. He talks a lot about basketball. Like I said, he watches a lot of film. He just loves the game. He studies the game so much and I think I’m pretty intrigued by that. That’s how it has to be. Your head coach, he has to love the game, he has to set the tone for the players. I just think that’s how it has to be.”