Departed Boston Celtics restricted free agent Grant Williams, who landed with the Dallas Mavericks via a sign-and-trade, lauded the C’s max signing of the 2019 offseason, Kemba Walker — who coincidentally enough was traded for the player they chose Walker instead of, Al Horford — during a September 22 appearance on The Hoop Chat.
“Kemba’s one of the best vets, if not the best, I’ve had,” Williams told The Hoop Chat host Emily Austin. “He’s a selfless guy. He’ll always offer the shirt off of his back for you. [Kemba] opening up his house for me (during the COVID-19 pandemic) was honestly one of the coolest and most impactful things he could have done for me. Especially at that time.”
Certainly, Williams’s comments should not be seen as any slight to Jaylen Brown, who was going into his fourth year, and Jayson Tatum, who was going into his third. Perhaps more so at Horford, but even then it’s a stretch. Williams and Walker lived together during a very delicate time in humankind, and during the former’s first season in the NBA to boot. Walker’s positive influence on Williams cannot be overstated enough.
Former Boston Celtics All-Star Kemba Walker played ‘seemingly last season of his NBA career’ in 2022-23
Dallas Basketball’s Matt Guzman predicted that Walker played the last season of his career in 2022-23 with the Mavs for nine games.
“Walker went on to play for Dallas last season — though only for a few games — in what was seemingly the last season of his NBA career, and Williams has since followed suit, joining the Mavs this offseason via a sign-and-trade agreement involving the Celtics and San Antonio Spurs,” Guzman wrote.
If that is true, then the Bronx native will go down as someone whose career fell from stardom in Boston, though it was in his native NYC where it was clear he was no longer a rotation player in the Association.