31-year-old Kemba Walker is having the time of his life in New York City, serving as starting point guard for the Knicks.
And while most fans and players dream about playing for the Knickerbockers, the NBA's most valuable franchise, Kemba's arrival to the team was even more special given his history with the city.
Still, despite his exciting new environment, he often reflects back on his time in Charlotte. In fact, according to him, he never would have left had they offered him the max contract he felt he deserved.
“If it was a max offer, I definitely would have taken it,” Walker said. “I did not want to leave Charlotte… I loved Charlotte. I still live there to this day. I love Charlotte, love everything about Charlotte. The organization, everything. Yeah, I did not want to leave. But I just kind of felt like, if I wasn’t getting my max, that I shouldn’t be there, you know?
I felt like I was worth more, like I’d done so much there that I kind of had to just move on. That was kind of my thought process in that situation.”
Charlotte has never been a high-market city, but Walker called the place his home for the first eight years of his career, averaging 19.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
Back in 2019, Walker left in free agency after the Hornets famously refused to offer him a max contract.
Since then, Kemba moved to Boston, then New York, where his role has gradually decreased.
In Charlotte, the Hornets are looking pretty solid with their young core of LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges.
Looking back, it would be interesting to see how Walker would have fit in with the crew, but it seems we'll never get the chance to find out.