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Full Transcript from Kemba Walker’s Exit Interview

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Kemba Walker Talks Free Agency

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Hornets enter the offseason, there are a lot of unknowns - most notably the future of new free agent Kemba Walker. Charlotte’s all-time leading scorer sat down with reporters for his exit interview where he answered questions about his future, what will be the determining factors for what’s next and more.

On the difference in this year compared to the past couple:

“Just being healthy, I think. Last summer was the first summer in about three or so years in which I did not have to rehab or get any kind of scopes or anything. I had a chance to kind of take advantage of the summer, get some good work in on my body and on my game in itself. I think that is what helped me. I was just really confident coming in from the past couple years, playing well, so I just came in confident this year and had a good year.”

On playing all 82 games:

“It means a lot just because it was goal of mine. It’s always a goal of mine to try and play as many games as I can and try and play all games if I can. For me to do that this year, it was a pretty special accomplishment.”

On being a Hornet for life:

“I don’t know. Just haven’t thought about it yet. I know you all want to ask free agent questions so bad, but I just don’t know. I’m not sure.”

On spending time with the young guys:

“I did, I appreciated the invitation to roll with the young guys. They make me feel young again.”

On the young guys calling themselves ‘Kemba and the Avengers’:

“Yeah, that’s what they have been saying. They’re fun. It’s been fun playing with those guys towards the end of the year. They got better throughout the course of the season, especially Dwayne. He didn’t play much, but he never complained, he always cheered for his teammates, always got his work in and when his name was called he stepped up huge. Miles, of course being a rookie, a lot of ups and downs but towards the end he figured it out and got better, same with Devonte. Devonte put in his work and continuing to get better each and every day, as well as Malik and Frank. You know, those guys stepped up so big so it felt good to be able to lead those guys and help them out throughout the rest of the season.”

On competiveness being a factor in free agency decision:

“I mean, obviously I do want to be competitive because I want to be able to play in the playoffs. So, I want to think that that would have some influence.”

On saying he “wanted to create something [in Charlotte]” in September:

“No, that hasn’t changed. This is where I want to be, so that hasn’t changed.”

On accomplishments and taking pride in breaking records:

“I think at some point in the summer, or even sooner, I’m not sure, now that I will have a lot of free time, I think that is something that will definitely come up. I will start to reminisce and think about some of the things I got to accomplish this year. For me, it always still kind of feels surreal when I accomplish goals and break records and things like that. I know for a fact that it will definitely hit me at some point.”

On his favorite moment from the season:

“I think the end of the season really is what sticks out for me. Seeing guys step up the way they did, seeing the young guys step up the way they did, that was something that made me happy to see how they compete and how much they got better and what confidence can do for anyone.”

On competing for the national team in China if selected:

“In a heartbeat. Man, I would love to be a part of that team, I don’t know if I will, but if was to get chosen, I would definitely be a part of it.”

On wearing the USA jersey 11 years ago:

“It meant a lot, especially growing up watching the Olympics and all of the great players who played for the USA team. It was a great honor to be able to compete with the USA team, to get that opportunity, to get that recognition. I was really excited to be a part of that team.”

On the experience of being a free agent:

“I have no feeling right now, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect, I just really don’t know. I guess it’s a lot of different emotions bottled up into one, I’m not sure. I don’t know.”

On the determining factors for what is next:

“I want to win; I want to win, like I said yesterday, that is something that I’m going to have to really sit down and think about with my family, with my agent, the people closest with me in my life that will help me make that decision.”

On what the Hornets need to do to re-sing him:

“I don’t think it’s started yet. I think now the work begins for those guys, they’ll figure it out.”

On taking meetings before the decision:

“I’m not sure, I’m not sure. Maybe the Hornets will get something done [early].”

On being offered advice before entering free agency:

“Not yet. Nobody I mean. No nobody, I haven’t asked anyone. I don’t think I will, just going to go through the process I think.”

On what being All-NBA would mean to him:

“Oh no question. Yeah man I mean what is it 15 guys. It would be an honor, only a select few of guys each season get a chance to be on that list and if I was given that opportunity, it would mean the world.”

On Jeremy Lamb’s growth and performance this year:

“It was impressive to watch. He played well all season, really consistent. We asked a lot of him, each and every night he came to play. For me you know being able to watch him in college and then seeing him when he first got to this league when he wasn’t playing much and then when he first got here and wasn’t playing much and putting in the work that he did, it’s definitely paying off. Really happy for him, I think the best thing about J. Lamb this season for me is when he had to take that bench role. Started all year and then being asked to take the bench and the way he played says a lot. “

On Lamb raising his game and the player’s around him:

“That’s rare because I think if that happens to anyone, it’s possible for them to be super mad or not play as hard or well but he embraced it and took it like a man and took his game to a whole other level. That’s great maturity on his behalf, he didn’t let it bother him, he didn’t put his head down. He stayed tough and that is what we needed.”

On how he feels physically:

“I’m healthy, which is great, it’s a blessing. I’m ready to go out there and have a great summer and continue to get better.”

On what he wants to do this summer to prepare:

“For me, it’s my body. Continue to work on my body and get my body stronger, especially my legs. I think that’s really it, continue to try my best to become a great shooter, a more consistent shooter. That’s something that I can never stop working on, becoming a more consistent shooter, I just want to continue getting better in that area. For the most part just my body, staying strong keep playing full seasons like this as much as I can.”

On how he feels:

“I’m tired, I can’t lie. I’ll take a little break, I can’t lie. Get my body recovered and get back to it eventually.”