Kemba Walker reflects on how Michael Jordan changed his life
The Charlotte Hornets (then the Bobcats) selected Walker with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after he embarked on a historic run to the national title as a member of the UConn Huskies. Kemba spent his first eight years with the Hornets, making three All-Star teams and cementing himself as one of the top point guards in the league.
Walker, who signed with the Celtics in the summer of 2019, spoke about the night he was drafted as well as Jordan’s role as a mentor, calling him a “big brother” (via Megan Armstrong of Bleacher Report):
“Also, [he] changed my life as well on draft night,” the Celtics All-Star said at the end of the video. “Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be playing for MJ and be able to have a relationship with him. And I did. That’s like my big brother. I appreciate him. Very grateful to him and what he’s done for me and my family and how he helped me progress through my career.”
The full clip can be seen below.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 26, 2020
The outlook was not always so cheery for Walker in Charlotte.
Walker actually struggled early in his career. He started in less than half of his appearances in his rookie season and shot below 40 percent from the field in two of his first four years. But Walker became a 20-point scorer during the 2015-16 season and never looked back.
Kemba Walker may have moved on from the Hornets after joining the Celtics, but he is still thankful for the impact Michael Jordan had on his life.