Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Kemba Walker’s impact in Boston will be felt beyond his production

BY DAVID THORPE

A season ago, the Boston Celtics had a solid strategy in place: "Destroy opponents with our superior talent." It started with All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. It included a young trio comprised of top 3 picks Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, plus another first-rounder in Terry Rozier that nearly toppled LeBron James’ Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. Add to that mix All-Star Gordon Hayward, a full year removed from his season-ending fractured left tibia and dislocated ankle, and in terms of collective talent and on-court fit, the Celtics had few equals.

Their plan, based on that talent, resulted in far too many losses amid a culture that could never make them play consistently as a TEAM. One 6-foot-1 guard, tiny in today's game, can change all of that. Kemba Walker, acquired by the Celtics in July’s free agency frenzy, is not quite the player Kyrie is, but his impact can be greater. Much greater. 

Gregg Popovich coined a great phrase years ago: good to great. He ask…

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