Let’s talk about Kemba Walker’s knee

The Celtics are fully immersed in the bubble at this point, as is every other NBA team. Some players have begun to vlog their experiences in Disney (JaVale McGee, Matisse Thybulle, and Troy Daniels), giving NBA fans some form of entertainment. Everything seems to be going well as the most recent test results showed 0 players testing positive for coronavirus.

However, with a lack of actual basketball to cover, it seems as though some media outlets have chosen to overhype certain stories, thus making them seem like a bigger deal than they actually are. Take Kemba Walker’s knee injury for example.

The only stories the media had to cover were Jayson Tatum’s golf game and Enes Kanter’s Instagram stories. Therefore, the reveal of potential knee issues with Walker caused the many to write about how his knee injury could affect the Celtics’ chances”, or some variation of that storyline.

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While it’s obviously their job to cover any and all Celtics news, every fan’s Twitter, Instagram, and news feeds were overwhelmed with knee injury news. I would say that a majority of Celtics fans aren’t the most level-headed in regards to injuries, as reactions ranging from “trade Kemba” to “I blame the Celtics’ staff” flooded my Twitter feed, leading to what can only be described as a minor panic.

One of the big complaints I saw going around was that “Kemba never got injured before he came to Boston.” This is just blatantly false.

In fact, Walker had multiple injuries during his time in Charlotte dating all the way back to 2014 when they were still the Bobcats. He missed a string of games that season with a sprained left ankle. Then, interestingly enough, Walker missed time during the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons with, wouldn’t you know, a left knee injury. He actually tore the meniscus in his left knee in January of 2015, with a subsequent surgery that same month. It wasn’t until February of the next season that issues with the same knee resurfaced, as he tore the same meniscus again, and underwent a second surgery. Finally, in May of 2017, he got arthroscopic surgery (for joint problems) on the exact same knee, which made three surgeries on his left knee in the span of about three years. 

Everyone seems to think Walker never used to get injured because, between his third surgery at the beginning of 2017 until this season, he never did. The first injury he had since his three knee surgeries was the freak accident when he ran into Semi Ojeleye in November. So the angle of saying that there is some “magical Celtics injury curse” is simply not valid.

Now, with that being said, I still don’t believe there is a reason to worry about Walker’s knee. The whole idea that his knee injury was shocking comes from the belief that he’s a durable, injury-free player. So then the fact that he’s actually gone through multiple knee surgeries should only strengthen that argument. Not only has Walker been a very consistently productive NBA player throughout his career, but he’s done so despite having gone through three procedures on the same knee. So why start worrying about it now?

The only reason I could see people potentially worrying about the injury is that the Celtics are being so cautious with bringing Walker back. He’s missed a couple practices, and will likely sit out the first scrimmage in Disney. If anything, this should be a comforting fact, not a worrying one.

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In Charlotte, he had no backup. The best player Kemba Walker ever played with in Charlotte was arguably Nicolas Batum. If Walker didn’t return to the floor as soon as possible from an injury, there was no way the Hornets/Bobcats would win games.

Now, he’s got Jayson Tatum (an All-Star), Gordon Hayward (a former All-Star), Jaylen Brown (a future All-Star), and a great supporting cast around him. The Celtics are more than capable of winning without Walker, and that means he can take the time he needs to get fully healthy.

Walker will be just fine for the remainder of the season. He’s shown that he can play through some knee pain, and I truly believe that this whole story has just been overblown because there’s nothing else to talk about right now. Expect Walker to come out and play like the All-Star he is come playoff time.

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2 Comments

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