The Boston Celtics suffered a bad loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday on their home court but All Star guard Kemba Walker made his season debut and felt good afterward. The Celtics, who entered the game as the favorite to beat the Knicks, suffered a 30-point defeat as New York won 105-75.
Walker himself did not have an outstanding performance as he finished the game with nine points on a 3-for-13 shooting. "I felt really comfortable making my moves," Walker said after finishing with nine points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals in 20 minutes.
"[I was] pain-free, which I haven't been for a very long time. "It feels weird actually not having pain, if that makes sense. It's kind of a weird feeling. I've been hurt for a very long time, so I was really just happy to get out there, just super excited.
It was fun. I can't wait to get back out there."
Walker felt joy on the court
Walker's final game in 2020 came against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. After the series, Walker got an injection in his troublesome left knee and spent the next 12 weeks strenghtening his knee.
The Celtics had a bad day and Walker did not have a great performance but still he felt joy after being able to play without feeling pain. "When did I feel fully healthy? I don't know. ... I can't tell you exactly when," Walker said.
"But it's just like ... as the days go by, mentally, it's just like every day, every day I'm not thinking about it. "At one point it was like, mentally that's all I could think about. Like, on the court, in the bubble, that's all I could think about was my knee.
Every step I took, every move I made, it was something, even when I wasn't playing. Now I'm out there and I'm trying to do a step-back and the first thing out of my mind is like, 'Damn, this is probably going to hurt.'
Not even worried about making or missing the shot; it's just about the pain. "Today when I'm out there, I'm making the moves I normally make and I don't feel anything and it's joy. I'm excited. I put in a lot of work.
I really attacked my rehab to get where I'm at, and I want to continue to build off this and just try to stay healthy. That's the most important thing."