HoopsHype Kemba Walker rumors

September 18, 2011 Updates
September 11, 2011 Updates

Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, nabbed Walker with the ninth overall pick, placing the fate of his franchise in the guard’s eager hands. “Before the draft, I was hearing so many things,’’ said Walker. “You slipping, you might go 17.’ And I told my agent, ‘Just don’t tell me nothing else. Just let whatever happens, happen.’ That’s what he did. “I can’t complain. I’m definitely excited that I’m with Charlotte and Michael Jordan. He had a huge input on what he wanted and that was exciting.’’ Boston Globe

Like all NBA rookies, Walker has been prohibited from talking to Jordan, donning the Charlotte orange, or displaying that speed with his new teammates because of the lockout. And he is impatient. “It’s been real difficult,’’ he said. “Of course as a rookie, I would love to be with my coach and my teammates. “I am in contact with some of my teammates, but as far as the coaches, it’s a little frustrating. I would like to start learning new things about the NBA game. “I’m just looking forward to whenever that time comes. It hasn’t yet [affected me] but it will soon. “As rookies, we’re all real anxious to play basketball, to get things going. We came here to play basketball and this happened to us. But we’re going to stay strong until we get the best deal possible for everyone, and I’m just counting on my counterparts to do the best job for us.’’ Boston Globe

September 6, 2011 Updates
September 1, 2011 Updates

Nolan Smith will join Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker in Utah for two exhibition games. The rookie Portland Trail Blazers guard's participation was confirmed Thursday. “Nolan is a very dynamic and accomplished player who I loved watching throughout his career at Duke,” Fredette said. “Much like Kemba, Nolan is very competitive and will want to put on a great show for the fans in Utah. He is always looking for ways to get better, so playing against other top rookies will be an opportunity that I’m sure he will enjoy.” Salt Lake Tribune

August 22, 2011 Updates
July 21, 2011 Updates

ESPN's Andy Katz caught up with Walker this week to discuss the labor situation, as well as what Walker's doing to keep busy in the meantime. Kemba Walker: "Of course I want to play in the NBA and get a chance to live my dream, but it's actually given me an opportunity to work on some things I want to work on, and even get a chance to soak in the unbelievable year me and my teammates had," Walker said. "You know, I really haven't had time, since the season, to really think about what we accomplished as a team and what I accomplished as an individual." When asked what Walker's doing for money since he can't yet accept paychecks from his new employer (especially since he's yet to sign a contract), he offered this: "I've been doing clinics and camps, and I have a sneaker contract. … I'll be fine. You know, money's not even an issue. I never had a lot of money so I'm used to it." NBC Connecticut

July 20, 2011 Updates
July 15, 2011 Updates

Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas is serious about playing guards D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker together at times next season. To overcome the height disadvantage that would create, Silas plans to install a zone defense whenever the lockout ends and training camp begins. Silas isn't allowed to talk specifically about players during the lockout. But there was no doubt who he meant Thursday when he said, "I'm going to have two little guys out there who I really think can hopefully play together. But it's going to be hard for (either of) them to guard a 2-guard. "But they can play a zone ... out-front, I think.'' Charlotte Observer

July 9, 2011 Updates

Obviously you guys have Brandon [Jennings] and Greivis [Vasquez] already, and Kemba is yet another guard. Is signing guards a brand strategy for you guys? Kris Stone: First and foremost, we want to look at the person and what they bring to the table on and off the court, from a talent and personality perspective. I think we’re looking to expand and grow the roster now with great people and great players, and we don’t want to just pigeonhole ourselves with just guards at all. Sole Collector

July 8, 2011 Updates

Walker may have been a newly minted millionaire -- at least in theory after the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him ninth overall just before the start of the NBA lockout -- but on this evening, he was the same humble, accessible guard who led Connecticut in one of the most impressive national title runs in NCAA history. Walker moved through the crowd and out into the parking lot with a purpose, never too quickly or unapproachably. That meant more handshakes and head nods on the way to his ride. "He's the nicest guy in the freaking world," said Tim Leahy, founder of All Pro Sports, which organized the clinic. "I couldn't believe how nice he was. A lot of these guys are very nice and then you deal with them and they're not so nice." SI.com

July 6, 2011 Updates

Darren: Why did you go to Under Armour? Kemba Walker: I think they offered me more than anyone else did. They gave a great presentation to me. Darren: When did Under Armour become cool in your circle? Kemba: I actually just found out about Under Armour last year. A lot of people, especially females, were wearing it on campus. Darren: What do you know about the NBA lockout?Kemba: I don't know much. I'm just waiting for them to tell me when the season starts. CNBC

Darren: What has Under Armour told you about marketing you during the lockout? Kemba: They said I would still be in ads, which is good, since I'm not sure other shoe companies are doing that. Darren: The owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, who you will now play for, is Michael Jordan. You think he's mad that you didn't sign with Jordan? Kemba: Nah, I think we're good. Darren: Matt, you've really barely scratched the surface on the basketball shoe market, how would you assess your progress? Mirchin: Well, we've been in the game for a while. For four years, we've been seeding our basketball shoes through the grassroots channel, in college and on marquee NBA players. CNBC

Darren: Plans of using Kemba during the lockout? Mirchin: He'll be part of our advertising, along with Brandon Jennings. We're still going to release shoes and go ahead with our plan of having a full speed ahead campaign. Darren: Will there be a signature shoe for Kemba? Mirchin: Right now, we're going to build custom shoes for Kemba, but obviously at the appropriate time, we could start thinking about a signature shoe. CNBC

Still looking for its can't miss star a year less than a year after debuting its first basketball shoe, Under Armour agreed to terms with Kemba Walker, sources told CNBC. CNBC

Walker was signed to a multi-year deal, but terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Picking up players in the draft like Walker could be a step in the right direction for Under Armour. CNBC

June 29, 2011 Updates

A number of GMs reported to me on Friday that they passed on some players because of injury concerns. What's interesting is that some team doctors see problems that other team doctors don't. I heard particular teams had concerns about Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Justin Harper and Josh Selby. The concerns didn't affect Biyombo and Walker's draft stock much, but may help explain why Harper and Selby slid like they did. ESPN.com

June 23, 2011 Updates

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