Kemba Walker has been everything Boston Celtics fans hoped he'd be when he took over for Kyrie Irving as the team's star point guard.
But before Walker played his first game at TD Garden, there was the obvious pressure of replacing such a talented player in Irving and becoming the new face of the franchise. At least, one would think there would be pressure under those circumstances.
ESPN's Rachel Nichols recently sat down with Walker and talked about his approach to taking Irving's spot. Surprisingly, it isn't really something that has crossed the 29-year-old's mind.
"I never even really thought about it, actually," Walker told Nichols. "I mean, I just know what kind of guy I am. You know, my personality. I can get guys to kind of gravitate toward me. I think I'm a fun guy to be around."
Walker is averaging 21.8 points, 5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds in the 46 games he's played in this season. What's even more impressive, though, is what he contributes to the team outside of the box score.
The improvement in overall team chemistry since Walker replaced Irving has been night and day. He has fit seamlessly in the C's lineup with fellow standouts Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward reaping the benefits of having such a selfless teammate.
It's been a great fit for Walker as well.
"I just kind of be myself. And these guys, you know, allow me to be myself which is probably the coolest thing about it," he said.
Not enough Kemba Walker in your life right now? He and I sat down to talk about what it was like replacing Kyrie, wearing No. 8 for Kobe, and what he thinks the Celtics ceiling is this postseason: pic.twitter.com/VyNBM24AZs— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 27, 2020
When Walker eventually returns from the knee injury that has sidelined him the last few games, he'll continue to propel the Celtics to and through the NBA playoffs.
Irving, on the other hand, will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that limited to 20 games in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.