Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is set to become a free agent in the summer. But judging from what he told Bleacher Report in a recent interview, he doesn't seem like he'll be signing with any other team.
The 28-year-old has spent all of his career in Charlotte after getting drafted by the side in 2011. And he claims to love everything about the place, especially the contrast to his native New York.
Walker says he's able to live a pretty normal life in Charlotte and can move around without people bothering him too much. Working for Michael Jordan and getting to see him almost every day, though, is likely to be the biggest selling point for the guard, although he probably wouldn't say.
Kemba Walker might always come up in trade rumors, but he thinks Charlotte is "perfect for me"—and he wants to build the first career-long legacy there https://t.co/xIFhI12LJq pic.twitter.com/IZSWn0XJ6N— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 14, 2019
"I love it," he told the aforementioned publication. "I love it. It's perfect for me. The pace of the city is pretty slow, which I love.
"It's not fast-paced like New York. ... I'm able to just live pretty much a normal life. I'm able to go out and eat and not really be bothered. Go to the mall and walk around, not really be bothered. That's what I like, personally. That's the kind of life I like to live.
"I do want to be the first to accomplish a lot of the goals that have never been accomplished around here. Yeah, I do think about that. Just because I know a lot of things haven't been accomplished here, and this is my eighth season here now. Just important because I want to help build that. I want to help build that. I want to help accomplish those goals and help get this organization far—as far as possible."
Jordan, meanwhile, has reportedly made re-signing Walker top priority for the summer.
"It's not like we are shopping him," the Hall of Famer told the Charlotte Observer last January. "We would not just give him up. I love Kemba Walker. I would not trade him for anything but an All-Star player."
While Kemba loves playing for and living in Charlotte, he says that he is who he is because of his New York roots.
"That's where I'm from," he says. "That's the reason why I'm here. The reason why I am who I am. The reason why I work the way I work. The reason why I have the passion for this game is because of where I'm from. Being from New York made me tough, made me fearless—just playing with a lot of the older guys. Me on the court is definitely 10 times different from me off the court."
What This Means
Walker is the Hornets' most important player and has been for a long time. The guard is doing his best to keep the team in contention for the playoffs this season with averages of 25.0 points and 5.7 assists a night.
While the team should do everything they can to keep him in free agency, they would do well to add some more help around him too.