Kemba Walker out of the rotation

The Knicks are making a drastic change at point guard. Head coach Tom Thibodeau announced Monday that Alec Burks will become the starter after a 23-point performance in his first start of the season during Saturday’s win in Atlanta. Bronx product Kemba Walker will be out of the rotation entirely, beginning with Tuesday’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn. “It’s a tough decision to make. But you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” Thibodeau said. “I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person, number one, and all that he’s accomplished in this league…But I do what I think is best for the team.”
Source: Peter Botte @ New York Post

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Knicks removing Kemba Walker from rotation: A hard pill to swallow, but @Brad Botkin says it’s the right move for New York. PM

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband
Kemba Walker can be a great veteran 6th man point guard at this point in his career.
The problem with the Knicks’ rotation is they already have that in Derrick Rose. – 1:58 PM
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
Derrick Rose is listed as questionable for tomorrow but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play. Thibodeau wouldn’t announce Kemba is out of the rotation just to play Kemba tomorrow. – 1:50 PM
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Major backcourt news today from both New York teams with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau confirming that Kemba Walker is out of the starting lineup and Nets coach Steve Nash saying Joe Harris is headed for ankle surgery.
More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com1:38 PM
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
Tom Thibodeau explains his big decision:
Alec Burks is the starting point guard and Kemba Walker is out of the rotation.…1:36 PM
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Tom Thibodeau says, at the moment, PG Kemba Walker is not part of the NYK rotation. Says he views Walker as a starter & doesn’t see good fit for Walker off bench. “I have great respect for who Kemba is as a person… & all he’s accomplished in this league.” PM

Michael Dugat @mdug
Thought it was a really nice signing when the Knicks got Kemba … also thought Bullock would be good on the Mavs.
Feeling smart about now. – 1:14 PM
The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
Kemba Walker has been removed from the Knicks rotation by coach Tom Thibodeau 👀
Alec Burks will be the team’s starting point guard going forward. PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Kemba Walker this season:
11.7 PPG
2.6 RPG
3.1 APG
24.5 MPG
All career-lows
The Knicks have been outscored by 122 points with Kemba on the floor this season, the worst +/- by any player on a winning team. PM

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina
only 3 rotation players have a worse net differential than kemba walker’s -25.5: facu campazzo, jalen green, and jamychal green – 1:04 PM
Barbara Barker @meanbarb
“I trust coach. He’s going to do what’s best for the team,” said Randle of Thibs decision to take Kemba Walker out of rotation and start Burks in his place. – 1:01 PM
Brian Geltzeiler @BGeltzNBA
Just another reminder that the Knicks are paying more money per year for Kemba Walker than the Celtics are paying for Dennis Schroder. That decision was inexplicable then and is even worse now. – 12:59 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Poor Kemba. I feel for him. One of the truly nice guys in the NBA. Always held himself accountable. Sad to see it go this way. – 12:58 PM
Jake Madison @NOLAJake
I didn’t see the Kemba news and immediately wonder if there is any sense in a move for the Pelicans while checking out his bball ref page it was you who thought that – 12:56 PM
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Whoa….Tom Thibodeau says Kemba Walker is out of the Knicks rotation. Alec Burks will start at PG for New York. – 12:56 PM
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau tells reporters that Kemba Walker is out of the rotation, and Alec Burks will remain the starting point guard. – 12:55 PM
Fred Katz @FredKatz
Kemba Walker is out of the Knicks rotation “as of right now,” Tom Thibodeau says. He says he will tighten the rotation moving forward. “It would be tough to play three small guards together,” Thibodeau says. Says he has great respect for Walker and all he’s accomplished. – 12:46 PM
Barbara Barker @meanbarb
Kemba is out of the rotation as of now. “It’s a tough decision to make, but you have to do what’s best for the team.” Burks is stater. – 12:46 PM

More on this storyline

Michael Scotto: Knicks have a 116.3 defensive rating and a -13.3 net rating with Kemba Walker on the court, per @HoopsRumors. Coach Tom Thibodeau has benched Walker. Now, Thibs will start Alec Burks at point guard. New York has a +5.2 net rating with Burks on the court. -via Twitter @MikeAScotto / November 29, 2021
Derrick Rose didn’t play Saturday due to a sprained ankle and is questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Nets. “I just don’t like the way we’ve been trending, the inconsistency of our team and we’re gonna try to make a change,” Thibodeau said. “I want to get bigger…I want our defense to be more intact. So basically that was it I got to do something different.” -via New York Post / November 29, 2021

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