Is Kemba Walker to blame for the Celtics' struggles? | First Take

Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman weigh in on who is to blame for the Boston Celtics' struggles.
0:00 Max Kellerman talks GM Danny Ainge, Kemba Walker and who deserves the most blame in Boston.
1:19 Max highlights the contributions of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
2:20 Stephen A. on Kemba's injuries and the Celtics' record.
3:50 Stephen A. explains why Brad Stevens is responsible for the Celtics' late-game collapse vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.
#FirstTake #NBA
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  1. NBA on ESPN

    NBA on ESPN

    2 months ago

    0:00​ Max Kellerman talks GM Danny Ainge, Kemba Walker and who deserves the most blame in Boston. 1:19​ Max highlights the contributions of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. 2:20​ Stephen A. on Kemba's injuries and the Celtics' record. 3:50​ Stephen A. explains why Brad Stevens is responsible for the Celtics' late-game collapse vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.

    • oShinigamio


      2 months ago


    • Setty Musa

      Setty Musa

      2 months ago

      Marcus smart is a defensive player, then they struggle because he’s hurt. Max

  2. Dominique Jones

    Dominique Jones

    Month ago

    Celtics need Kemba Walker and a big man

  3. Jon


    Month ago

    Terry Rozier>Kemba

  4. Alex Turner

    Alex Turner

    Month ago

    Why’s there always a scapegoat for Boston? The wrong players get the credit for that team, I remember kyrie having them in the first seed his entire first season and Brad getting all the credit, they used homecourt advantage to get to the finals and while he was injured, players gained egos and played for contracts and offsets the whole team balance, kyrie comes back and gets all the blame when they don’t play well. Same with kemba now. Toxic franchise.

  5. Tim Dot

    Tim Dot

    2 months ago

    Kemba is 25% of they problems but the rest falls on the coach/GM and lack of size

  6. Bolo


    2 months ago

    Make Kemba the 6th man let him run the second unit, it's just that simple but unfortunately with his contract he's making too much to play that role..

  7. Sebastian Wendelbo

    Sebastian Wendelbo

    2 months ago

    Kemba Walker is trash

  8. Octane Swagg

    Octane Swagg

    2 months ago

    I don’t understand them U got a great team of 3 great players u got one go down the team falls u need all healthy so why blame the coach when ur team is not healthy u think the coach can pull a hat trick and make it all work 😂😂😂 Not even Steve from the golden state could pull that off when kd got injured Might I add celtics got 5 new players that they have to fit in with the crew Payton Nesmith Thompson Teague And Langford And a injured kemba Try again buddy the team won’t be good until brad fix the chemistry with the new ppl and everyone is healthy

  9. Liam M

    Liam M

    2 months ago

    I'm not even surprised that Kemba is the reason why the Celtics have been losing because I knew the Celtics were going to start losing as soon as he came back from injury because he's had a history of repeatedly choking in the Regular Season for his whole career.

  10. Lewis Wong

    Lewis Wong

    2 months ago

    STFU. Kemba ain't the problem

  11. Bhuvanesh Senthil

    Bhuvanesh Senthil

    2 months ago

    Kemba just put up 32, Max just jinxed himself.

    • Liam M

      Liam M

      Month ago

      Then 2 weeks later he shoots 6/18 in a loss to the Kings. Crickets! Crickets!

  12. Rob Smith

    Rob Smith

    2 months ago

    Before Kyrie is the problem. Now Kemba is the problem. Aye man the real problem is the coach!!

  13. PMC


    2 months ago

    tatum , brown , and kemba. they all look to score all the time. hard for other teammates to step up.. selfish one on one plays all the time

  14. Mike Dean

    Mike Dean

    2 months ago

    The false familiar famous sturgeon prominently shock because record socially fetch as a groovy apple. milky, disillusioned twist

  15. WhiteBack #Real1

    WhiteBack #Real1

    2 months ago

    Good topic durability is questionable.



    2 months ago

    We started off the season 8-3 and the collapse started once Kemba returned against the Knicks. Our 4 best players gave only played 28 minutes together all season. I'm pretty sure it's been like 2 games

  17. Marc Mulder

    Marc Mulder

    2 months ago

    Blame Kyrie Irving, he is used to be blamed for Celtics struggles.

  18. jay kayer

    jay kayer

    2 months ago

    Blame Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. They're so wrong till no way can fix those problems except fire both of them.

  19. Randritz Hopper

    Randritz Hopper

    2 months ago

    As a Hornets Fan thank you for Rozier and Hayward.

    • Liam M

      Liam M

      Month ago

      And Kemba Walker was the reason why you guys have spent almost an entire decade missing the Playoffs until now he's one of the biggest Regular Season chokers that's ever played the game.

  20. ronniebobby edition

    ronniebobby edition

    2 months ago

    Kemba Walker was exposed during last season's playoffs. He does well in the first half (and that's usually due to him trying to get off to a good start after receiving backlash for a prior loss).....He disappears in second halves. He's not a good perimeter shooter - especially late in games. And he is a very small defender. I don't know what he's listed at, but he's clearly under 6ft. He's a very likeable guy, but he's a liability on offense and defense. They never should've gotten rid of Rozier.

  21. IAmSeanPain


    2 months ago

    They fumbled with all the picks,

  22. Geoffrey Mak

    Geoffrey Mak

    2 months ago

    I agree wl some of the pts. It's a multitude of things mixed together & both these guys overlooked. Celtics clearly only a playoff team & will barely make it to 2nd round if healthy Smart returns. 1. Stevens' system predicated on ball movement on offense & interswitchable players with length on D. Loss of Hayward & the shirking play of Teague made the Celtics offense became PG + Kawhi style offense: PnR & let the wing create a play instead of 3 high IQ guys moving ball around while 2-3 guys making screens & cuts constantly. 2. Kemba is not a good play maker nor good catch & shooter running off screens & his team D is horrible. 3. Thompson cannot guard PnR effectively & he cannot space floor. He's at best slightly better than Kanter on the defensive end but not much and his solid screens are negated by his inability to roll quickly or shoot. 4. Stevens' experimenting diff lineups whether they hv enough cushion or not, & use of players also affected the results. G Williams has been playing well in 1st 20 games for the mins he played but rarely used (seems to be hiding him to avoid being put into trade package with Kemba?). Last 2 possession Q4 @ Mavs saw Nesmith & he gave up a long range 3 pt winner to Doncic. (although his D is a lot better now compare to first 25 games). 5. Lastly is Tatum. His finishing & foul drawing still now there. His read on the blitz & double team trap or even single coverage is very slow. He needs to react much quicker to force defense react in order to create opportunities for his teammates.

  23. ——


    2 months ago

    6ers fans are having a field day

  24. ceowonu


    2 months ago

    The only point guard who has ever been able to talk thrive in Boston's system is a Isaiah Thomas. They should bring him back.

  25. BE4ST


    2 months ago

    so maybe it wasn't Kyrie.

  26. RoyaltyFromKing TV

    RoyaltyFromKing TV

    2 months ago

    But I thought Kyrie was the problem

  27. Can We Talk?! The Podcast

    Can We Talk?! The Podcast

    2 months ago

    Highly unlikely but Kemba could run the 2nd unit and let Smart start at point

  28. masaki


    2 months ago

    Why is no one talking about jeff teague....... HE TRASH AF

  29. Rajpal Sohi

    Rajpal Sohi

    2 months ago

    they cant play defense for the life of them. trae young and gallinari torched them. they have no size, brown and tatum are the only weapons they have and both of them hardly play. embarassing team. lost to dallas without porzingis and to a below average atlanta team. thanks for losing me 2 bets.

  30. Em Pure

    Em Pure

    2 months ago

    Guys they’ve barely played together as a full roster at all this season

  31. Ethan Sylvester

    Ethan Sylvester

    2 months ago

    Kemba doesn’t play back to backs and he struggled the other night be he has been much better

  32. Cobra Commander

    Cobra Commander

    2 months ago

    Nah I blame Kyrie and Hayward.

    • Cobra Commander

      Cobra Commander

      2 months ago




      2 months ago

      Lmao. Kyrie lives rent free in y’all’s heads. It’s been 2 years. He’s gone. Get over it

  33. Black Sector

    Black Sector

    2 months ago

    The NBA so stupid terry was on the rise and was consistently getting better they should of kept him. He ain’t nobody favorite player that’s all. He was their Fred van fleet

  34. Gamer 101

    Gamer 101

    2 months ago

    The biggest problem for the Boston Celtics is--- signing superstar point guard that always get injured, just look at Kyrie 😅

  35. Steve's Fair Game

    Steve's Fair Game

    2 months ago


  36. griplimit


    2 months ago

    Marcus smart is more than just a defense of player, he leads the team in assists and makes sure everyone is in their spots. He is what Kemba should be...

  37. Sadam Ali

    Sadam Ali

    2 months ago

    remember when kemba was supposed to be better than locker room cancer kyrie smh. This team is just poorly constructed



    2 months ago

    I say try and get Beal in a package with Kemba as much as I love kemba

  39. third326


    2 months ago

    This team is all hype. In reality, Ainge is a lousy GM. This team won't be a contender anytime soon.

  40. Fun Times With Games

    Fun Times With Games

    2 months ago

    Wasn’t max one of the people saying Kemba walker was a perfect replacement for Kyrie??

  41. Reina Consejo

    Reina Consejo

    2 months ago

    kemba is not a winning player. never has never will be.

  42. Chris Thomas

    Chris Thomas

    2 months ago

    Kimbo isn't a player that can lead a team has more like a second option he's no leader

  43. Shash Santander Lucio Yohualli

    Shash Santander Lucio Yohualli

    2 months ago

    Bring IT back to Boston

  44. James Newman

    James Newman

    2 months ago

    Its funny that he said kemba walker. Last time i checked he said kemba isva upgrade from kyrie Irving lmao

  45. Ahmed


    2 months ago

    Kemba is not fully back, but I remember when a bunch of u dummies actually thought Kemba was in Kyrie level.

  46. Aditya R.M Shrestha

    Aditya R.M Shrestha

    2 months ago

    Kemba is a great player, he just needs to find his kick back and get healthy. Right now, Kemba is struggling, but I personally do believe that Cardiac Kemba will bounce back.

  47. B


    2 months ago

    Walker for ricky rubio please

  48. Jonathan Frimerman

    Jonathan Frimerman

    2 months ago

    Trade Kemba to Minnesota for DeAngelo Russle

  49. Dale Gribble

    Dale Gribble

    2 months ago

    Celtics fans still wanna blame Kyrie tho 😎

  50. Chill Introvert

    Chill Introvert

    2 months ago

    They'll never be right at the PG position until they do right by IT. Kyrie, Rozier, Kemba...if I were a PG I'd go elsewhere, Boston jinxed it with the IT situation.



    2 months ago

    Blame Kyrie 😂😂😂

  52. Adrian Roberson

    Adrian Roberson

    2 months ago

    Can't blame Kyrie anymore.. Maybe just maybe he wasn't the problem

    • Dale Gribble

      Dale Gribble

      2 months ago

      They’ll find a way to blame him

  53. Mark Jordan

    Mark Jordan

    2 months ago

    Tatum easy he suppose to be they best player so now it on him

  54. william raisbeck

    william raisbeck

    2 months ago

    stephen A is only blaming brad stevens because he is white.

  55. Kevin-Vincent Elabo

    Kevin-Vincent Elabo

    2 months ago

    Frankly I dont agree with SAS. Max is on point. Celtics have two issues. Kemba and defense. They should get a real Center. That is all. Get Whiteside instead of Thompson. Maybe Cousin. Not very sure for the latter but Tristan needs to go. An issue they have is also the substitute players specifically their Small Forwards. They should make trades for at least Josh Hart a



    2 months ago

    Oh it's not Kyrie's fault anymore. Celtics were overhyped for beating some equally average teams to make finals.

  57. Deonte Turnage

    Deonte Turnage

    2 months ago

    Lol is Kyrie still the blame 🤔?

    • Dale Gribble

      Dale Gribble

      2 months ago

      Those miserable fans will find some way to still blame Kyrie

  58. Kd Roofing

    Kd Roofing

    2 months ago

    I'll blame Kemba Walker as well. He's selfish with the ball

  59. Baby Iverson

    Baby Iverson

    2 months ago

    I BEEN SAYING THIS!!!! Kemba should be arrested for the money he stole from us. At this point I would rather risk losing with young guys. Eventually they will become what we need them to be. I think Payton is gonna be a good starting point for us if we turn him loose and give him the experience on the floor. He showing that he can control pace. He can score but also facilitate and he is a good at hitting spot up 3s so he can affect the game with or without the ball.

  60. Dark Nate

    Dark Nate

    2 months ago

    Ainge tried to shop him but people knew he wasn't healthy.. Unmovable contract alert ☺️ Brad a good coach but he needs to run more plays for Jaylen especially down the stretch. Sitting him in the corner getting him frustrated.. 2nd they need to be more aggressive defensively which will lead to more transition buckets.. They haven't got the shooters to reply on 3 point shooting

  61. Untitled893


    2 months ago

    So when Jim Boylen coached the bulls It was his fault the team was trash. The whole team was garb besides Zach Lavine, how Can Brad be held responsible when his bench has 4 players and his starters are inconsistent? "C'mon Man".

  62. Listening to X on The Weeknd

    Listening to X on The Weeknd

    2 months ago

    Man is not perfectly healthy. We all know who Kemba is when fully healthy..

  63. Veljko Četnik

    Veljko Četnik

    2 months ago

    other then 3 main guys and smart others are not nba rotation players, kemba is not 100%, smart is out, there is no real PG, so...

  64. Trevor Mckenzie

    Trevor Mckenzie

    2 months ago

    The person to blame for the Celtics struggles is Danny Ainge... Kemba dealing with injuries, he cannot be held accountable for not producing at his normal rate. Ainge had all the assets a team can hope for and look at this roster... Your core guys Tatum, Brown, Smart been here, you added Kemba and??? Ainge definitely hasn't done enough with the assets he had... should've packaged their 2020 picks to move up or use them to help the team.

  65. Jona Sosa

    Jona Sosa

    2 months ago

    Blame a player? Last time I checked it was a team sport

  66. Ej Handy

    Ej Handy

    2 months ago

    Brad Steven is not the issue the gm is

  67. Ej Handy

    Ej Handy

    2 months ago

    Max is right

  68. Shakeel Brown

    Shakeel Brown

    2 months ago


  69. Alexander Fortich Obenza

    Alexander Fortich Obenza

    2 months ago

    Celtics missed Gordon Hayward!!!!

  70. gd131


    2 months ago

    Hornets were right not giving Kemba the max contract.

  71. Aabhas Amol

    Aabhas Amol

    2 months ago

    SAS hates Stevens because he ain't black. That's been the case for the last 3 years

    • Dale Gribble

      Dale Gribble

      2 months ago

      You sound like a child

  72. NYURBLGND ••


    2 months ago

    Kemba Is Less Than... That’s Why Charlotte Denied Him That Contract.

  73. GS400


    2 months ago

    Stephen A always blames the white man

  74. Barnseybanker09


    2 months ago

    Should Boston take a gamble on griffen maybe

  75. J Collins II

    J Collins II

    2 months ago

    I thought Kyrie was the problem with the Celtics?? Kemba was suppose to be the leader they needed right??? what happened??

    • Nolan IDK

      Nolan IDK

      2 months ago

      Las year he was he’s injured

  76. A Love

    A Love

    2 months ago

    It's a curse to be a good PG in Boston. I.T, Kyrie, now Kemba.

  77. JOE Whitaker

    JOE Whitaker

    2 months ago

    Brad Stevenson choked against the Miami heat the Boston Celtics should have been in the finals against the Lakers brad Stevenson got out coach badly by the Miami coach time is running out for the Celtics. Brad Stevenson overrated.

  78. Josue tejada

    Josue tejada

    2 months ago

    Brad stevens is to simple of a coach he isn’t creative

  79. Drew Holliday

    Drew Holliday

    2 months ago

    There is nothing they can do. Eventually you have to stop blaming Isiah Thomas, Kyrie and Kemba. This Roster does not work.

  80. C-major


    2 months ago

    Honestly can we get somebody like a KG to come coach this team? Feel like he would make a good coach

    • Migi


      2 months ago

      Assistant coach

  81. czars salad

    czars salad

    2 months ago

    Pritchard needs to take some of Kemba's minutes

    • Liam M

      Liam M

      Month ago

      Kemba needs to go back to Uconn

  82. Ermanno Sorricchio di Valforte

    Ermanno Sorricchio di Valforte

    2 months ago

    Stephen A. better bring his crusade for more black coaches and executives elsewhere, the Timberwolves for example, 'cause neither Brad Stevens nor Danny Ainge are going anywhere.

  83. Catcher Freeman

    Catcher Freeman

    2 months ago

    Celtics should've gotten Dru Holliday

  84. tubewatcher1979


    2 months ago

    Kemba on the Celtics is subtraction by addition.

  85. Grady McKinney

    Grady McKinney

    2 months ago

    *SAS-isms* Kember Walker Utar Jazz Dennis Shrayder Graymond Dreen 😭😂

  86. b0rge VIPER

    b0rge VIPER

    2 months ago

    I was shaking my head when the Charlotte Hornets let Kemba walk away. Now I think it was a good idea letting him go and giving Gordon Hayward a max deal.

  87. stryd


    2 months ago

    It’s literally a 4v5 if Kemba’s missing shots

  88. KappaAlpha Omega

    KappaAlpha Omega

    2 months ago

    Finally someone said is trade kemba like I’m tired of everyone saying it was a good trade it’s not like the Celtics should be in the finals rn if the weren’t getting robbed by owner ship

  89. TallestFiddle


    2 months ago

    Lots of issues, they are both right. Also, JT and JB are great players, but they aren’t great at passing and creating good shots for their teammates.

  90. Travon Rumph

    Travon Rumph

    2 months ago

    Kemba gone ball he’s more proven this more about the younger guys

  91. Uncle Drew's Best

    Uncle Drew's Best

    2 months ago

    I dont think its kemba to blame Its already clear that the celtics is the one to blame cause every player who came to their team and meant to be a leader ultimately became a bust Starting from kyrie and last year they even compare that kemba would be better leader than Kyrie but what happens now kemba also became a bust

  92. Yvad Rosado

    Yvad Rosado

    2 months ago

    Bruh they got talent.... in the East. Blame Kenna and Stevens

  93. Jayden Moon

    Jayden Moon

    2 months ago

    Vucevic would be a nice addition if they can get him - That would give them extra scoring from the 3 and interior

    • Steven Mitchell

      Steven Mitchell

      2 months ago

      Vucevic is a full on star. Celtics will have to give up loads for him.

    • Jayden Moon

      Jayden Moon

      2 months ago

      @Cody Tran Magic may be looking to trade him - Celtics would be wise to try and get him - lol but if I can get greek, Lebron, and KD sure :P

    • Cody Tran

      Cody Tran

      2 months ago

      Wanna ask for lebron and giannis and kd as well?

  94. Anthony Taylor

    Anthony Taylor

    2 months ago

    Play carsen Edwards

  95. Cameron No

    Cameron No

    2 months ago

    I wonder how they would be with G Hayward

  96. Michael N

    Michael N

    2 months ago

    No one should be blamed. Kemba was fine the last four games, one bad game and it’s brutal hot takes. Jaylen couldn’t shoot yesterday either. Prior to this Kemba was averaging 22 pts a game over last four games and they won 3 out of 4. They should have won yesterday but Stevens played games trying to squeeze some rest and it didn’t work. When stars play together we continue to play pretty well. Our issue has been staggering lineups and smart helps that a lot.

    • Michael N

      Michael N

      2 months ago

      The late game collapse is the staggering lineups. We choose to run 1 guy and scrubs half of every fourth quarter and we lose lead every time during that period. Or we tank late third and lose then. This isn’t rocket science. Our starting lineup is great, our secondary guys aren’t holding the fort. Period.

  97. Wan Hundo

    Wan Hundo

    2 months ago

    🙄 SAS shut up bro. Kemba was trash in the playoffs last year and he sucks this year trying to comeback before he’s 100%

  98. Ricky Tyson

    Ricky Tyson

    2 months ago

    Kemba got to change his game,he starting to look too little for the league

  99. John Pestano

    John Pestano

    2 months ago

    the Celtics have been struggling lately they have been losing to bad teams Ainge is to blame but so are the players

  100. Underrated


    2 months ago

    Should’ve never got rid of IT 🤷🏽‍♂️