Kemba Walker’s homecoming hasn’t gone as planned.
At the All-Star break, the point guard and Knicks have mutually agreed for the four-time All-Star to sit out to the remainder of the 2021-22 season, team president Leon Rose announced on Wednesday.
The release states the decision was made to help Walker prepare for the forthcoming 2022-23 season.
Statement from New York Knicks President Leon Rose on Kemba Walker pic.twitter.com/n0dpbJd2zl
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 23, 2022
The 6-foot-1 guard, who was born in Bronx, New York, signed with the Knicks this past offseason after reportedly giving back $20 million as part of a buyout when he was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder acquired him along with two more draft picks via a trade with the Boston Celtics for Al Horford and Moses Brown and a pick.
The 2021-22 season was the first of a two-year deal worth $17.8 million that Walker signed with the Knicks. He is set to earn $9.1 million in the 2022-23 season as a 32-year old.
Kemba Walker’s 2021-22 stats, numbers
In 37 games for the Knicks this season, he averaged career-lows of 11.6 points and 3.5 assists.
He was taken out of the team’s rotation in late November, however, with a lack of players and the team going 3-7 without him, he returned as a starter after a three-week absence.
Before an injury sidelined him once again, in the six games right after he returned, he not only exploded for 44 points in a game but also recorded a historic triple-double on Christmas Day.
With 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, he helped the Knicks defeat a depleted Hawks 101-87.
Kemba Walker joined an impressive list of players to record #NBAXmas triple-doubles. 🤯
— NBA (@NBA) December 25, 2021
The triple-double was the first by a Knick on Christmas Day and also the first of Walker’s career.