New York Knicks Sign Legendary MSG Performer ‘Cardiac Kemba’
As a sports fan growing up in Connecticut, I saw this. As a New York sports fan, you probably saw this, too.
I mean, how could you not have. It was everywhere.
That was in 2011. Then-junior Kemba Walker hit that CRAZY step-back to send the ninth-seeded UConn Huskies past the third-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers. Walker and the Huskies would go all the way in 2011, winning the Big East Tournament, with Kemba being named Tournament MVP.
Ten years after that incredible moment, Walker is back in the Big Apple.
The reunion was made possible by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who agreed to a contract buyout for Walker earlier today. The Bronx-native then passed through waivers, and after no team claimed him, agreed to a contract to join the New York Knicks.
Walker never played a game for the Thunder, with his last action coming as a member of the Boston Celtics. The two years Walker spent in Boston, were two years he'd probably like to forget. His point-per-game totals dipped by over five points from his final season in Charlotte in 2018-19, and his time was marred by a significant knee injury.
After being shipped out by the Celtics and released by the Thunder, Kemba Walker is at a career crossroads. At 31 years of age, the argument can be made that the best years of Walker's career are behind him. That said, the New York Knicks are Walker's hometown team, and Madison Square Garden was the backdrop for the defining moment in Walker's young career.
Last season, Knicks' guard Derrick Rose had a career resurgence of his own, reaching point totals that we hadn't seen since his prime years with the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks benefitted greatly from Rose's veteran presence, and Rose benefitted from his role as a leader.
Who's to say a revitalized Kemba Walker couldn't have the same thing happen to him?