Celtics

Who is Kemba Walker? Get to know the Boston Celtics' newest star

Who is Kemba Walker? Get to know the Boston Celtics' newest star

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Those who follow the NBA at any capacity already know who Kemba Walker is.

The Celtics' new star point guard had been a standout player in the league for the last eight years with the Charlotte Hornets before joining Boston this past offseason.

But there's so much more to know about Walker than his killer stepback and ability to score at will.

Here's everything you need to know about the new face of the C's. . .

Age: 29 (Born May 8, 1990)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 184 lb
High School: Rice High School (New York, New York)
College: University of Connecticut
Position: Point guard
NBA Draft: Selected Round 1, Pick 9 by the Charlotte Bobcats
Jersey #: 8
Accolades: 2008 McDonald's All-American, 2011 First-Team All-American, 2011 Big East Tournament MVP, 2011 NCAA champion, 2011 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 3x NBA All-Star, NBA Sportsmanship Award (2017, 2018), All-NBA Third Team (2018-19)

RICE HIGH SCHOOL

Walker was a five-star recruit at Rice, per Rivals.com, and listed as the No. 5 point guard (No. 14 overall player) in the country.

As a junior, he went up against Simeon Career Academy senior and future NBA MVP Derrick Rose at Madison Square Garden and led his team to a 53-51 win.

In his senior year, Walker tallied 18.2 points and 5.3 assists per game and was a McDonald's All-American.

UCONN

Kemba quickly rose to stardom at UConn, helping the Huskies to a No. 1 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and leading them to the Final Four in his freshman season.

He really burst on the scene, however, in his junior year when he led the nation in scoring (26.7 points per game) and provided us this unforgettable highlight from the 2011 Big East Tournament:

Walker and the Huskies went on to win the Big East Championship, then the real fun began.

With Walker leading the charge, UConn made its way through the 2011 NCAA Tournament and became Division I champions. Walker earned the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award for his stellar effort.

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS/HORNETS

With the ninth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats select Kemba Walker from the University of Connecticut.

Walker wasted no time making his presence felt in the pros, averaging 12.1 points, and 4.4 assists per game in limited minutes during his rookie season. He continued to show improvement over his next few years in Charlotte, at which point his career really began to take off in 2015.

Since then, Walker has averaged at least 20 points and five assists per game in each season and has made three All-Star teams. He's emerged as one of the game's premier scorers, and he's only gotten better with each passing season. That's why when he became an unrestricted free agent in 2019, he caught Danny Ainge's eye.

BOSTON CELTICS

Kyrie Irving out, Kemba Walker in. The C's salvaged the loss of Irving in free agency by signing Walker for four years, $141 million to replace him as the new star point guard.

Only six games into his Celtics career, Walker has already provided Celtics fans with a glimpse of what's to come. Last Friday, he became the first C's player since Paul Pierce in 2002 to notch 30+ points, 6+ rebounds, and 4+ assists in three straight games. His efforts have helped the Celtics get off to a strong 5-1 start to their 2019-20 campaign.

Only time will tell whether Walker is the perfect fit for Boston, but from his early years at Rice  High School to his most recent game in Green and White, there haven't been any reasons to believe otherwise.

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Celtics' Jaylen Brown gives interesting insight on how his contract extension got done

Celtics' Jaylen Brown gives interesting insight on how his contract extension got done

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown signed a four-year, $115 million extension in October, putting to rest questions about what his restricted free agency could have looked like this summer.

Brown wasn't always confident he and the Celtics would reach a contract agreement before October's deadline, however. The 23-year-old star recently appeared on the "Woj Pod", hosted by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, where he gave an in-depth look into the process. In the end, the Celtics presented Brown an offer that he didn't want to pass up.

“To be honest, I came with the mindset I didn’t think that anything was going to get done,” Brown told Wojnarowski. “I wasn’t sure that anything was going to get done. The first offer was four years, $80 million. I didn’t think they were going to budge from that.

"So, I came with the mindset, I told (agent Jason) Glushon that, ‘Let’s see what can happen, you know?’ For me, I didn’t think Jason was going to be able to get anything done. I thought they were going to stay at ($80 million) and that was going to be it. I was hell-bent, I was already locked in, focused, ready to carry the weight that I was going to go into this year playing my fourth year out. And then they jumped up, and that just showed they wanted me here in the organization. They appreciated my value. They thought that I added to winning. It was an offer that was too hard to kind of turn down.”

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Brown wasn't the only notable player from the 2016 draft class to sign a lucrative extension.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray both signed five-year deals worth $170 million. Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam signed for four years and $130 million. New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, who was drafted between Simmons (No. 1 overall) and Brown (No. 3 overall) was the only star player from the class who didn't reach an extension.

A lot of players ease up a bit and don't play with a sense of urgency after securing their first huge contract. Brown has been the opposite.

He's playing at an All Star level for the Celtics this season, and his per game averages of 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists all are career highs. Brown leads the Celtics with six games of 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds. He also has 19 games of 20-plus points, which beats his previous career high of 17 such games in 2017-18.

The NBA is all about two-way wings these days. Many of the league's best players fit this mold, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo (who also can play center). The Celtics have two of the rising stars at this position in Brown and Jayson Tatum. They aren't at the level of the veterans previously mentioned, but they have a pretty good chance to be one of basketball's best duos for a long time.

Blakely: What's ailing the C's defense? Here are some theories

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In Boston, there's one thing everyone can agree on

In Boston, there's one thing everyone can agree on

You’ve probably heard that America is divided like never before. Neighbors are fighting, parents and kids aren’t talking to each other, and the Internet, which was supposed to bring us all together, has only made the division worse. 

Well, there’s good news. There is one thing that the vast majority of American’s can agree on … screw the Lakers!

That’s right, according to science, the Lakers are the most hated team in the country.

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The hatred (and to be clear, this is not real hate, it’s sports hate) is understandable in Boston. There’s history between the two most storied franchises in the NBA. The Celtics and Lakers have met 12 times in the NBA Finals, and in case you were wondering, the C's hold a 9-3 edge in those championship series.

Twelve matchups for the ultimate prize has understandably bred hatred between the two fan bases, but why does everyone else hate L.A.? It’s hard to say for sure, but it might have something to do with the Lakers being a free agent destination despite being one of the worst run franchises in the entire league over the last 10 years. It might be their entitled fans who think every good player will ultimately sign with them. It could just be that Dwight Howard is on the team.

Whatever the reason, despite our divided nation, America can agree that the Lakers are the worst.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Lakers, which begins Monday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.