Kemba Walker and New York Knicks agree on rest of season shutdown

Kemba Walker, New York Knicks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Kemba Walker, New York Knicks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

What started as a feel-good homecoming with the New York Knicks is coming to an unfortunate end.

The Knicks announced on Wednesday that the team and Kemba Walker had reached an agreement that Walker would sit out for the rest of the season, in a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

Why the New York Knicks and Kemba Walker agreed

According to the report, this was entirely health-related.

The decision was Kemba’s, with the team agreeing it was best for his health and the long-term.

Team President Leon Rose said:

"We fully support Kemba’s decision to shut it down for the remainder of the season and use this time to prepare for next season. His long-term success on the court remains our priority.”"

It’s a sad development in what has been a disappointing season for the Knicks as a whole.

When the team signed Kemba Walker this offseason, his health was certainly something they knew about.

Walker was never going to be the player he was earlier in his career, but there was hope that he play a limited role with the team and form a formidable point guard tandem with Derrick Rose.

Walker had a rollercoaster of a season. From looking a key part of the team early on to a string of poor performances that led to his benching from Tom Thibodeau to being forced back into the lineup due to COVID absence and dropping 44 points, to resorting back to mediocre form — it’s been a whirlwind, and what has become evident is that he is struggling to stay healthy.

Even with the “low-risk/high-reward” moniker attached to the signing this offseason, it’s sad to see Kemba Walker go out like that.

While he’s not being bought out and could be under contract next season, it appears unlikely that the team will elect to keep him next offseason.

Hopefully, Walker can get to a place where he remains healthy and finds a consistent role in the NBA.

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