Walker pens farewell to Hornets
The Kemba Walker Charlotte Hornets era has come to an end.
In a piece published in the The Players' Tribune on Monday, the All-Star guard penned an emotional farewell to the team and city that took a chance on him when he was selected ninth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.
"This was an extremely tough decision, and I hope people on both sides will take that the right way. I owe Charlotte everything, man. Everything." Walker began.
Walker traced it all back to his first encounter with the Hornets owner and his new boss, who happened to be NBA legend Michael Jordan.
This was tough https://t.co/ZR6OVSM2LV— Kemba Walker (@KembaWalker) July 1, 2019
"He called me up … and of course I recognized his voice instantly. (I remember thinking, even in that moment, you know, like - Damn. It’s MIKE.) And real calm, real cool, he just said," Walker wrote.
"Kemba, we believe in you. I want you to know that. We believe in you, and we expect great things,
"Man, I’m not exaggerating when I say that those words from MJ changed my life."
Walker, who grew up in the Bronx, went on to credit the welcoming organisation and state as a whole for supporting him throughout his eight-year career in which he averaged 19.8 points, 5.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds over 605 games. He averaged a career-high 25.6 points for the Hornets last season.
"Charlotte … you are my people forever. You’re family, straight up. I love you," he added.
Now bound for Boston after reportedly agreeing to a four-year maximum contract worth $141million with the Celtics, Walker is clearly eager to start his next chapter.
He introduced himself to Celtics fans as a "quiet leader" and "a winner" as he promised to help get the team "back on top" in the Eastern Conference and beyond.
"And Boston….. I’ll see you all in September. I’m ready. I’m truly ready," he penned. "Let’s do this."