Kemba Walker will thrive under scrutiny that caused Kyrie Irving to flee Boston, says Jalen Rose
The tumultuous Kyrie Irving era in Boston has come to an end.
The six-time NBA All-Star, who was obtained via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, signed with the Brooklyn Nets as soon as free agency began this summer, joining forces with Kevin Durant in a move that came as a surprise to very few.
In need of a point guard after Irving's departure, the Celtics agreed to terms with Kemba Walker, who has played for the Charlotte Bobcats-turned-Hornets since being drafted ninth overall out of the University of Connecticut in 2011.
Walker will be the Celtics's third starting point guard in five years. He joins a team with a plethora of young talent, including Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown, that is in desperate need of togetherness and leadership after a difficult end to Irving's term.
And former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says Walker is exactly the man for the job.
The Celtics obtained Irving at "the absolute worst time for him as an individual player," according to Rose, which, in hindsight, made his downfall seemingly inevitable.
"I saw him crumble and be unhappy under that scrutiny," Rose told AOL.com of Irving after the Celtics reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals while he was injured in 2018. "But now, you get Kemba, and that's what he's been looking for."
"He's coming to a team that expects to win, that is gonna be on the big stage," Rose said of Walker. "Now, he's got a chance to practice and become one of the better players, so he's anxious for the world to see him."
Walker's eight-year tenure with Charlotte was largely fruitless, with the team making the postseason just twice and being bounced in the first round both times. With Walker running the offense, Rose believes that Boston could secure the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2019-20.