What? Tom Thibodeau Shared Big News About New York Knicks Point Guard Kemba Walker

The tension between Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau and point guard Kemba Walker became palpable following the Bronx legend’s return to starting point guard Saturday night in Boston.

After his 29-point night in the Knicks’ 114-107 loss, Walker, sitting maskless in a cramped interview room at TD Garden amid the team’s COVID-19 outbreak, sounded like it may have been just a one-night stand.

Walker doesn’t know what the Knicks coach is thinking. They haven’t talked since the morning of Nov. 29 when Thibodeau told him he was out of the rotation.

Has Thibodeau explained anything about why this has happened?

“No sir,” Walker said.

Have you talked to him at all during the nine straight DNP-CDs?

“No sir.”

Were you confused by that?

img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="682" src="https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/12/kemba-thibs.png?w=1024" alt="A composite image of Knicks point guard Kemba Walker and head coach Tom Thibodeau." srcset="https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/12/kemba-thibs.png?w=1535 1536w, https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/12/kemba-thibs.png 1024w, https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/12/kemba-thibs.png?w=512 512w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px"">A composite image of Knicks point guard Kemba Walker and head coach Tom Thibodeau.Kemba Walker and Tom Thibodeau
Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports; Getty Images

“Was I confused?” Walker said. “No. I’m not starting, I ain’t playing,” Walker said. “So I’m here for my team, I’m here for my teammates. I can’t say it enough. Whatever’s asked of me that’s what I’m here for.”

If the season is not put on hold because of the league’s COVID-19 outbreak, Thibodeau may have another point guard decision to make when Derrick Rose (ankle sprain) and the six infected players get healthy.

It took six COVID-19 positives and Rose’s ankle sprain for Thibodeau to turn to Walker on Saturday. If Rose is healthy enough to play Tuesday against Detroit, Walker could still start a second straight game with Rose back to revive the depleted bench.

Miles McBride dominated against the Rockets.> > Miles McBride could force Knicks into a new point guard dilemma

But with the emergence of rookie point guard Miles McBride, especially in a pairing with Immanuel Quickley, it seems to be a long shot that Walker will ever his get his old role back.

Thibodeau has not shown creativity to spot Walker into a game as a reserve to take advantage of his scoring spark.

McBride and Quickley were the last two Knicks to test positive for COVID-19. Also on the COVID list are Obi Toppin, RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes and Kevin Knox.

Afterward, Walker indicated he didn’t want to stick with his hometown team if he wasn’t going to play. For now, he’s got to keep ready because of the coronavirus spread.

It’s become apparent Thibodeau isn’t — and maybe never was — a fan of Walker because of his lack of size and lack of defensive instincts. The Knicks website didn’t post videos of Walker’s and Evan Fournier’s post-game interviews Saturday as is the norm. Fournier spoke glowingly of Walker.

After the game, Thibodeau was complimentary but brief in his Walker assessment. For his part, Walker said it was “unfortunate” he was instructed to intentionally foul with 2:07 left. It was his sixth foul.

Jamal Crawford, the ex-Knick who still is looking for a job, tweeted Saturday night during Walker’s big night:

“Stop letting these coaches/ teams create the narrative a player is done, because THEY don’t like them…

Stop letting these coaches/ teams create the narrative a player is done, because THEY don’t like them…

— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) December 19, 2021

And some of y’all said “ defensive net rating” and all this other mumbo jumbo trying to justify Kemba not playing. 🧐

— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) December 19, 2021

Crawford also tweeted: “And some of y’all said ‘defensive net rating’ and all this other mumbo jumbo trying to justify Kemba not playing.”

Walker’s been through a lot since last season when his arthritic knee limited him to 43 of a 72-game pandemic-shortened season before Brad Stevens traded him to Oklahoma City the moment he became Celtics president last June.

The Thunder, after failing to trade Walker, bought him out in August so the four-time All-Star could sign a two-year, $18 million deal with his hometown team.

“It’s definitely been a rough couple years, to be honest,” Walker said. “When you get a chance to slow down and think about things, myself, I think it’s just some adversity. At some point in life, everyone goes through tough times. I’ve had a great career thus far, and a lot of things went my way. It’s a tough time right now, so it’s really about just showing my character, showing who I really am. I’m so mentally tough, I feel like I’m built for any situation, and I’m going to handle it the best I can.”

During the postgame, Walker gave a big “shout-out” to assistant coach Johnny Bryant and not the head coach with whom he’s no longer on speaking terms.

“I’ve got a great support system, great family, great friends who help me stay humble and stay grounded, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” Walker said. “Just try to be unbreakable and continue to put my work in and just stay ready for anything that comes my way.”

Source : https://nypost.com/2021/12/19/the-tension-between-knicks-coach-tom-thibodeau-and-point-guard-kemba-walker-became-palpable-following-the-bronx-legends-return-to-starting-point-guard-saturday-night-in-boston/

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