The New York Knicks came into the 2021-2022 NBA season with the kind of hype they haven’t had as a franchise in a long time. And so far, the results have been…okay. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is making a personnel change that he hopes can spark something better.

Thibodeau announced Monday that Alec Burks will now be a full-time starter for the Knicks, following a 23-point performance on Sunday. He also announced that Kemba Walker will be out of the rotation altogether, beginning with Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

“It’s a tough decision to make. But you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” Thibodeau told reporters. “I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person, number one, and all that he’s accomplished in this league…But I do what I think is best for the team.”

“I just don’t like the way we’ve been trending, the inconsistency of our team and we’re gonna try to make a change,” Thibodeau said. “I want to get bigger…I want our defense to be more intact. So basically that was it I got to do something different.”

The 31-year-old Bronx native signed a two-year deal for $18 million this past summer to play for the Knicks. So far, Walker has averaged 11.7 points in 24.5 minutes per game, both career lows for the four-time NBA All-Star.

Meanwhile, Burke is averaging 10.5 points in 22.3 minutes per game, both numbers that are likely to rise with his new role and without Walker in the lineup.

NBA folks and Knicks fans certainly had some strong opinions about the announcement and what it likely means for Kemba’s time in New York.

We’ll have to wait and see what’s next for Walker and the Knicks. Kemba came to the Knicks after agreeing to a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder this past summer, and perhaps he’ll be doing something similar in a short amount of time here as well.

[Fred Katz, NY Post]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.