During a radio appearance Thursday afternoon on Dallas-Fort Worth sports talk station The Ticket, Dallas Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison had a rather candid admission about the state of Kemba Walker’s troubled knee.
“It’s not good,” Harrison said. “It’s not good at all. But he’s rehabbed it and it’s the best he’s felt in the last two years so, we’ll see how long that lasts.”
Walker, who the Mavericks signed earlier this week, has a long injury history with his left knee, initially getting surgery on it to repair a torn lateral meniscus in 2015. Unfortunately it wasn’t the final surgery on his left knee, as in 2016 he had another meniscus surgery and then in 2017 he had an arthroscopic procedure.
The procedures finally caught up to Walker as a member of the Celtics in 2021, where Walker played just 43 games before being traded that following offseason. Walker signed a two-year contract with the Knicks last season, where he only played 37 games before shutting himself down and the Knicks trading him in a salary dump to Detroit in the summer, where eventually Detroit bought out Walker’s contract. Walker hasn’t played in an NBA game since February.
Perhaps Harrison was commenting on the overall history of Walker’s knee, but the question was fairly direct. Harrison did add that since Walker basically didn’t get a training camp, the Mavericks are being careful to ramp him up into game shape before he makes his debut, which could be in about a week.
After Harrison’s initial statement about Walker’s knee not being good, he was asked a follow-up about that rather bleak admission.
“Well, it hasn’t been good for a few years,” Harrison clarified. “Even last year, he had 30 point games on it. But it actually feels better now. The reality is, if you look at it, it’s not good, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play on it.”
Walker had a 44 point game last season before being shut down, and scored 20-plus in six of his 37 games with the Knicks.
You can listen to the segment of the interview about Walker’s health in the embedded video below. You can listen to the full interview on The Ticket’s podcast feed, which you can find here.