Celtics

Kemba Walker: 'When you think of the Celtics, you think of championships'

Kemba Walker: 'When you think of the Celtics, you think of championships'

The winning culture of the Boston Celtics clearly was a factor in Kemba Walker deciding to join the historic NBA franchise in free agency.

Walker reportedly agreed to sign a four-year, $141 million max contract with the Celtics on Sunday night. Later in the evening, he joined "SportsCenter" with host Scott Van Pelt and explained what went into his decision to leave the Charlotte Hornets and come to Boston.

"I wanted to be part of something really special as far as really being able to compete at the highest level and give myself the best opportunity to make a run in the playoffs," Walker said.

Walker is a huge boost to the Celtics' roster. He's coming off an excellent season in which he averaged a career-high 25.6 points per game, was named an All-Star starter and was selected to the All-NBA third team.

The 29-year-old point guard spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Hornets and reached the playoffs only twice. Both of those postseason appearance ended with first-round exits. Walker considered the Celtics as the best fit for him to realize playoff success.

"When you think of the Celtics, you think of championships," Walker said. "You think of winning, and that's what I'm about. I'm about competing for championships and winning, and that's something I haven't been able to do throughout the early years of my career. I haven't been a consistent winner in this league. I just felt like Boston was the best fit for me to try and accomplish those kinds of goals."

The Celtics should again be among the top four teams in the Eastern Conference next season after replacing Kyrie Irving with Walker. The C's still have other moves to make, however, particularly in the frontcourt, where their depth at power forward and center is lacking.

Really early look at 2019-20 Eastern Conference playoff picture>>>

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Do the Boston Celtics need frontcourt help?

Do the Boston Celtics need frontcourt help?

The Boston Celtics are off to an 11-3 start to the 2019-20 campaign, which currently has them tied for first place in the Eastern Conference.

But if you're going to pick out one weakness on this year's C's squad, it's probably the frontcourt. It begs the question: Should they go out and get a legit big man on the trade market, or can they get by with the guys they have?

NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin and A. Sherrod Blakely weighed in on that very subject on the latest Celtics Talk Podcast.

"I am very hopeful when it comes to the frontcourt," Chin said. "I think that we have seen Robert Williams take steps particularly on the defensive end that I wasn't sure he could make, and I think if he continues on that trajectory and kind of figures out his positioning and hustles and plays hard, I think that that's going to be a huge help to the Celtics.

"And then additionally, Grant Williams. I am high on Grant Williams. The guy is so smart, and I know he is so undersized, but he's got so much heart and he is almost like a Marcus Smart 2.0 and he just wants to make plays. He just wants to impact winning, and I think there's value in that."

"I look at their situation the way that I would look at getting a new car," Blakely said. "How much is this going to cost me? How much am I going to have to lose in order to gain this new nice shiny vehicle? And to me, that's the issue that Danny Ainge has to grapple with.

"Because right now, he can get by with the group he has and they can make a little bit of noise in the playoffs, but you know that it is a weakness. You know that if you get a certain matchup, it could spell the end of your season. So you're going to need some luck on the way if you stick with the group that you have and make no significant changes."

Listen to the full episode below (frontcourt talks begins at 10:00 mark)

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Positive signs from Celtics west coast trip, Thanksgiving superlatives

Celtics Talk Podcast: Positive signs from Celtics west coast trip, Thanksgiving superlatives

A. Sherrod Blakely is joined by Abby Chin to break down the Celtics West Coast trip. They discuss their impressions of the Celtics now, and how they have changed from the start of the season. We also have some fun giving out some Thanksgiving superlatives. 

2:30 - How do we feel about the Celtics West Coast trip so far?  

5:00 - Has Jayson Tatum showed he can make the ‘leap’ to the next level? How much has he impacted the Celtics?

8:30 - Where do the Celtics rank in the Eastern Conference? What order is the top 3 right now? 

10:00 - Do the Celtics need some front court help? or as we confident in what they have now? 

13:30 - Is the buyout market the best spot for Danny Ainge to add a big man? 

16:00 - We give out our Thanksgiving-themed superlatives. Who’s the devourer of the drumstick? Stuffing the stats is...? Side dish superstar? 

30:00 - Who has been the biggest surprise player for the Celtics so far?

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off Friday at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 9 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.