As is often the case when a beloved player leaves the franchise he came into his own with, Kemba Walker took to The Players’ Tribune to put his thoughts out into the open. In it, Walker reflects on the night he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (then the Charlotte Bobcats), his first conversation with Michael Jordan, and how that conversation changed his life.
He has nothing but good things about the Hornets organization, the city, or the fans.
I think because the Hornets are a younger franchise in this league, people get the idea that their fans are maybe more of the casual type. But if you’ve spent any time in Carolina, you know that isn’t the case at all. Hoops culture — it runs deep in that area. They understand it and they respect it. So a place like that….. when they take you in as one of their own? And they believe in you, and they always have your back, no matter what? That means everything.
There is a long list of thank yous, from the Peelers that he befriended as a rookie to the kids he’s mentored to all of his teammates, past and present.
He wraps up the Charlotte portion of the piece with a pep talk for Hornets fans and for the organization. He believes the Hornets are headed in the right direction, even without him here.
This place is special. And while this summer was the right time for me to part ways, and move on to another phase in my career — it’s taking nothing away from the Hornets as a fan base or as a franchise. If anyone in the league asked for my advice? I’d encourage them to sign with you all, without hesitation. I’d tell them how it’s a place full of not just great basketball people, but great people — and that things are headed in the right direction.
I’d tell them, with that young group in Charlotte, the sky is the limit.