The Celtics' previous starting point guard caused some serious contention in Boston last season, and there's a lot of pressure on Kemba Walker to turn things around.

But Walker apparently has a different view of being the heir to Kyrie Irving's point guard throne.

"I’m not trying to go in and think that I have to be better than Kyrie last year," Walker told The Athletic's Shams Charania in a recent interview. "It happens. Great players go to teams all the time and it just doesn’t work. It just didn’t work for him. Kyrie is one of the best players we have in this world. It was just unfortunate, an unfortunate season."

The Celtics weren't lacking for talent last season, as it was more poor chemistry that derailed their season. But Walker seems eager to join a roster he believes can do big things going forward.

"These guys, they’ve been winning for years," Walker told Charania. "I want to be part of that. This is a big-time roster. The guys that make up the roster, there’s such great young talent — guys who are hungry, who want to win and want to get better and work hard. That’s who I want to be around."

Playing for a contender obviously appealed to Walker, who never made it past the first round of the playoffs with the Charlotte Hornets and admitted to Sharania, "I haven’t wrapped my mind around contending at this high level."


Whether the 29-year-old can succeed at that high level and put an ugly 2018-19 campaign in the past remains to be seen. But he's certainly saying (and thinking) the right things so far.

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