Here’s What Kemba Walker Had To Say About Emotional Tribute From Hornets

Paola Ditto
Novembre 8, 2019

It's special and it definitely obviously made me really emotional. "A lot of calls that they called, I didn't understand where the fouls were". And it just seems like whenever I get the ball and I'm on offense, I can't get a call. "I understand from Brad's standpoint, but at the same time, from the player's standpoint, like, you've got to step in".

"At some point, you've got to step in and say something as a coach", Smart said. "So if that means I've got to lose a little bit of money, then I've got to lose a bit".

Smart initially was upset when, at the 5:57 mark of the third quarter, he picked up an offensive foul, his fifth foul of the game. That came 11 seconds after he'd been called for a shooting foul on Hornets guard Devonte' Graham at the other end of the court. He ultimately got hot and finished 4-of-12 from the field, but the Celtics led throughout regardless of Walker's performance, en route to a 108-87 (box score) win. His words for Stevens continued after he sat down.

Andrea Walker, who still lives in Charlotte, was wearing a crisp white Celtics jersey with her regular moniker on the back, and she went to will-call to pick up her tickets rather than just breezing through her regular entrance, where everybody knows her name. "I'm never like, 'I need to take a break.' I want to keep playing and I want to thug it out, even especially when everybody else is doing it, and it's just like, 'Hey, you've got to let me play.' Especially, you know, I've been in six years, I've been doing this for six years, and I know what I'm doing".

At the start of the fourth quarter, Smart was back in the game, and both men said afterward that things between them were fine. We move on pretty quickly. While his Hornets needed him to post big numbers to have much of a chance at winning, the Celtics have a much stronger roster capable of weathering the storm on off nights. His fire, his competitiveness. We've been together a long time. "I've been yelled at before, and that's okay. I love him and I trust him, and he'll get every opportunity". Smart's frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter when he was shoved to the floor by Charlotte forward Miles Bridges, who earned a technical foul following a review, but his complaints went well beyond that push.

Smart said the officials told him to let them handle the situation. So either you clear it up, or I will'.

The same fire and passion that caused Smart to boil over is what has allowed him to become one of the league's best defenders and, as the longest-tenured member of the Celtics, one of the team's unquestioned leaders.

"I allowed y'all, I gave y'all the time". It also is what makes situations like that one easy for all involved to move past.

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