New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker warms up before a game...

New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker warms up before a game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Knicks playing the visiting Detroit Pistons on Friday night is a reminder that the Garden could have hosted a reunion of sorts if things had worked out differently for Kemba Walker.

The Knicks traded Walker to Detroit on draft day after Walker’s disastrous season with his hometown club.

But the Pistons bought out the former UConn star soon after the trade and Walker still is without a team.

“I’m just sitting back being patient, just giving myself a chance to continue to get my knee right, get my legs stronger, get my body stronger,” Walker, 32, said on ESPN’s “The Woj Pod.” “I’m just going to wait it out. I’m going to be patient. I think my time will come. I really do. When it does come, I’m going to try my best to be as ready as possible.”

The Knicks signed the four-time All-Star to a two-year, $18 million deal to be their starting point guard before last season. The Bronx native received a rousing ovation before his first MSG game as a Knick.

But the seeds of a Walker problem showed themselves right away as the defensively deficient guard was benched late in the game, which the Knicks won over Boston in double overtime.

Walker played 37 games for the Knicks and averaged a career-low 11.6 points and 3.5 assists. He and the club agreed in February that he would sit out the remainder of the season.

“At first, it was a storybook,” Walker said. “It was. It was something I was really looking forward to. Any kid would dream of playing for their home team, and I’ve dreamed about that for a very long time.

“When the opportunity came about, I was uber-excited. But unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for me. Individually, I didn’t really fit the system and what those guys were trying to do over there. It just wasn’t for me.”

Walker never meshed with coach Tom Thibodeau’s style, which makes it puzzling why the Knicks signed him in the first place (other than the feel-good part of the story).

Walker rocked the Garden with a 44-point effort on Dec. 23, but the Knicks lost to Washington.

Being a free agent again “is kind of actually bringing me back to my roots and how much I have to grind to get what I want,” Walker said. “But it’s different, it’s a different situation for me, not being on an NBA team. I’m just trying my best to adjust to the situation and just continue to work.”

Could coaching be in Walker’s future? He didn’t address that, but he did talk about how he helped Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown learn to play together when Walker was with Boston from 2019-21. Boston made it to the NBA Finals last season and lost to Golden State.

“They’ve always seen the talks and people saying they can’t play together,” Walker said. “But I always just tried to tell them, ‘Just block that out.’ I always told them, ‘This organization ain’t going nowhere without you two. Literally.’

“My main thing to those guys was that they had to love each other. Those two guys, Jayson and Jaylen, you two guys have to come together as much as you can and lead this team to the promised land. They can’t go anywhere without those two guys. Those two guys are so special, and they’ve shown it.

“I was really proud of those guys, because we’ve definitely had some great convos between the three of us. A lot. They made it work, man. It was really, really cool to see those two guys in the [Finals] last season.”

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