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Celtics’ Kemba Walker on facing Hornets for the first time — ‘I really want to beat them’

Celtics, Kemba Walker

For the first time in his career, Kemba Walker will be facing the Charlotte Hornets — the team which drafted him and where he spent his first eight years in the NBA.

The new Boston Celtics guard expects the encounter to be emotional. However, the mission still stands: get that victory.

“It’s coming quicker than I thought. I know it’s going to be pretty emotional. But I’m looking forward to it,” Kemba Walker said before pausing again while a sly version of his trademark smile appeared, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports.

“I really want to beat them.”

Walker was among the headliners in the summer of 2019. When it was becoming clear that the Kyrie Irving-Celtics partnership was about to crumble, eyes turned to Walker as the next top guard not just to replace Irving, but to represent the legendary green and white jerseys.

His situation with the Hornets was on the brink of collapse, too. Despite stellar individual seasons (three All-Star selections and a spot in the All-NBA Third team), the Hornets were far from being legitimate title contenders. It was the right time for a change of environment for the New York native.

So far, Walker is averaging 26.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.0 steal over 34.7 minutes per game. More than his numbers, he’s playing with a pretty talented squad comprised of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward — who seems to be in a state of resurgence as of late.

While Walker doesn’t have any grudges for his former team or the city, facing against the only team he knew to start his career is a surefire memorable moment.

Walker wants to make it sweeter by snagging that victory.