The Kemba Walker-to-Boston hype train has left the station, and his former college coach is on board.
Jim Calhoun, who coached Walker and the UConn Huskies to an NCAA title in 2011, has seen the reports that the Celtics are trying to lure the All-Star point guard away from the Charlotte Hornets in free agency.
And Calhoun likes the sound of those reports.
"He would fit in perfectly," Calhoun told The Eagle-Tribune's Bill Burt of Walker potentially signing with Boston. "He’s not like Larry Bird, who sort of had a scowl on, and would kill you. Kemba is a happy guy and does it with a smile. To me he’s a smiling assassin."
Calhoun may be a little biased as a Mass. native who shares Walker's agent, Jeff Schwartz. But the former UConn coach speaks from experience, considering he worked with Walker for three seasons and knows Celtics head coach Brad Stevens well after competing against Stevens' Butler squad in the 2011 NCAA title game.
"He’s a great coach. ... I’ve been to his practices. I like his style," Calhoun said of Stevens. "I see the Celtics games a lot. They’re going to be OK (despite losing Kyrie Irving and Al Horford). Kemba could be a nice fit there."
Calhoun added he has no inside knowledge of Walker's thinking, and the 29-year-old has stated he'd take a pay cut to stay in Charlotte, so it may take some convincing to wrest him from the Hornets.
But Calhoun, who now coaches at Division III Saint Joseph in Connecticut, apparently believes the C's should make a run at his former star.
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