Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau made the move on Monday after keeping him inactive against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. While the move may have been a surprise, the writing has seemingly been on the wall.
Kemba has largely been a net negative for the Knicks for most of the season. He’s been a plus-player in just four of his 18 starts and minus double-digits in eight of them.
On Twitter, the reaction has been one of agreement. Some people are lamenting that Kemba has fallen off this much, while others are saying that it’s time for him to go by the wayside for the benefit of the team.
Ooof. Kemba’s decline has kinda been sad to watch. Just doesn’t have that ability to pressure the rim anymore. https://t.co/FdmhuGQ8Wo
— Joe Viray (@JoeVirayNBA) November 29, 2021
I support this!
Kemba-Fournier backcourt plays way, way, way, way too slow, IMO. Love Kemba but he's not getting downhill at all anymore and looks lost on D. That backcourt is having ripple effects on RJ's development. https://t.co/DhfuOxFwkk
— Ryan McCarthy (@mccarthyryanj) November 29, 2021
It's a tough call. But Thibs made the right, albeit difficult, decision.
The Knicks have been outscored by a whopping 122 points in the 441 minutes Kemba has played this season.
Minus-122 is the worst plus/minus (by far) by any player on a winning team in the NBA this season. https://t.co/IwT3Ga8FOe
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 29, 2021
— HB (@Sec0ndHandNews) November 29, 2021
Of the 10 rotational players for New York, Walker ranks last in on/off rating at -26.2, it's about time those Bing Bongs coaching the Knicks got him out of the starting lineup! #NewYorkForever https://t.co/jr5UY8cKiL
— Nothin’ But Airtime (@NothinBtAirtime) November 29, 2021
Kemba Walker joined the Knicks in free agency after spending the last two seasons at Boston. He was traded to Oklahoma City in June, but was waived two months later.
In his first 10 NBA seasons, Walker made four NBA All-Star appearances. He made three of them with the Charlotte Hornets and one in his first year in Boston.
But since joining the Knicks, Walker has been playing some of the worst basketball of his career. He’s on pace for career lows almost across the board.
Is Kemba Walker effectively done with the Knicks? Is he still an All-Star player?