Kemba Walker broke a long standing record in Charlotte Hornets history today. It took two overtimes to do it, but Walker broke Glen Rice's franchise record for most points in a game with 52 points against the Utah Jazz. It started to look like he wasn't going to do it at the end due to exhaustion, but a trip to the free throw line iced both the game, and gave Walker the record.
Not only was he scoring, but Walker managed to fill up the box score too with nine rebounds, and eight assists. He event threw in a highlight on Rudy Gobert.
What a move by Kemba Walker on Rudy Gobert. pic.twitter.com/c02upu8DUY— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) January 18, 2016
It's fitting that Walker would set this record in the middle of having a career season, and on the same day that voting for the All-Star game ends. He's earned a lot of consideration to be on the team this year, and today's game will certainly be the first piece of evidence fans point to for why he should make it.
On the other hand, Walker himself might not want to use today as evidence for anything positive.
Kemba Walker, after scoring 52 points. pic.twitter.com/stBSAvS0F0— Joshua B. Priemski (@HoopPlusTheHarm) January 18, 2016
"I'm a little upset actually. I made all the mistakes that kept these guys in the game."
What an incredible quote. Walker has every reason to pop off and be excited about his moment, but he's too focused on Charlotte's inability to close the door on Utah, and takes that responsibility on himself. He's probably being a little too harsh, and it might sound cliche, but that's the mindset of a true competitor.
Walker has always been someone that took criticism for being an inefficient scorer. Before this season he had only once shot over 40 percent for the season, and his tendency to play shoot first when he's such a talented passer rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. However, this year's he's increased his efficiency not only in field goal percentage, but from 3-point range as well.
It was never uncommon to see Walker burst off and score a a large chunk of points. His career high before today was 42. Now, with increased efficiency and a franchise record under his belt, we might be seeing Walker evolve as a player. He's still young, and there's plenty of room for him to grow with the Hornets. His future is bright, and leaves many of us wanting more.