There’s been a lot of talk about how Kemba Walker will fit in with the Celtics next season, after he signed a four-year, $141 million deal with Boston Saturday.
But after Ronald Nored played for Brad Stevens at Butler, competed against Walker in the 2011 NCAA Tournament Championship, and coached Walker last season with the Hornets, arguably no one is more qualified to speak on this subject than him.
In an article in The Boston Globe by Adam Himmelsbach, Nored believes Walker will be a perfect fit for Boston.
“Kemba is super unselfish, and he’s humble,” he said. “I think that fits with Brad perfectly. There’s going to be no issues there. It’s going to be seamless, because they’re two like-minded people that push other people to get better, and they’re good people. It’s going to work so well and I think they’re going to have a great relationship.”
If anyone knows the ins and outs of Stevens’ system, especially from the view Walker will be stepping into, it’s Nored. The 6-foot then-point guard played under Stevens for four years at Butler. He then went on to coach with Stevens for the 2014-15 NBA season with the Celtics, so Nored also is familiar with the fan base as well.
“He’s a guy that people in Boston will love,” Nored said. “They’ll be able to wrap their arms around him when he gets his pull-up threes and his crossovers and all that stuff that he does. People will love it. And people will like him because of the kind of person he is and the way he plays.”
Nored added that in terms of work ethic, Walker never settles. Even as a three-time All Star, he loves to work hard in the gym and on the court to continue improving his game, and it shows. The 6-foot-1 point guard put up arguably his best season in his 2018-19 campaign, averaging 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Boston got to see a glimpse of Walker off the court through his article in The Players’ Tribune. But the fact that Nored raves about Walker, even after the newest addition to the Celtics was named MVP when he led UConn to defeat Nored and his Butler teammates eight years ago to win an NCAA championship title, speaks volumes about Walker’s character.
“Kemba’s a great guy,” Nored said. “He’s like the best guy ever, really. Every day he comes with a smile. He competes at a high level. He’s a great teammate in the locker room. He’s amazing in the community. Literally, I can’t say a bad word about Kemba.”