HoopsHype Kemba Walker rumors

September 28, 2014 Updates

Stephenson wants to do more than just play basketball. He wants to rap, as well. Two months before the season began, Stephenson released a rap song, called “Hot N---a,” a take on the rapper Bobby Shmurda’s song that spawned the popular “Shmoney Dance.” Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more. “Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n---as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete… “I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.” Charlotte Observer

September 26, 2014 Updates

In the final days before training camp, Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho will sign another big man and tentatively explore a contract extension for point guard Kemba Walker. Cho said Thursday he will sign nine-season NBA veteran Jason Maxiell to a nonguaranteed contract Friday. That addresses the Hornets’ concern about having just four healthy big men entering camp without locking up the 15th and final roster spot. Charlotte Observer

Cho also said he has had preliminary discussions with Walker’s agent about a possible extension. If the Hornets don’t re-sign Walker by the end of October, he will become a restricted free agent in July. The Hornets haven’t typically re-signed players on rookie-scale contracts before they at least reach restricted free agency. “We’ve had some initial talks,” Cho said. “I don’t want to get into the discussions because I don’t think that would be fair to Kemba or his agent. It’s just started.” Charlotte Observer

September 25, 2014 Updates
September 24, 2014 Updates

Walker is taller than Thomas, but he’s not his listed 6-foot-1. “That might be a stretch,” head coach Steve Clifford says, laughing. Walker describes himself as “barely 6 feet,” though he suggests he can be “6-1 on a good day.” Other small point guards have thrived, including Lawson, Kyle Lowry, and Conley. But Lawson is a more explosive driver and finisher than Walker, Lowry is bulkier, and Conley is taller with longer arms that have helped him become an elite defender. Grantland

Only seven players launched more pull-ups than Walker last season, and he hit just 36.7 percent of them — a poor number, per NBA.com. He also has to launch moon balls to get them over defenders, another downside to being short. Walker had the fifth-highest average peak shot height on 3-pointers last season, per SportVU data provided to Grantland, trailing only Dirk Nowitzki, Dion Waiters, Jamal Crawford, and Lin. The effect carries over to his midrange looks. Grantland

May 15, 2014 Updates

So just how close are former Connecticut point guards Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier? “Super close,” Napier replied Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine. “Like I might not have to buy a house (if the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him). Just move in with him.” Napier was a freshman on the 2010-11 Connecticut team Walker led to the national championship. Napier duplicated Walker’s feat in March, leading the Huskies to another NCAA title. The two have stayed tight: When the Bobcats had a day off in April before a road game in Boston, Walker traveled to Connecticut’s campus to hang out with Napier. Charlotte Observer

Now the Bobcats need a backup point guard and are drafting 24th overall in June – a spot where Napier could still be available. “That would be cool,” Napier said of the prospect of a reunion with Walker. “Fun and ironic.” The question in that scenario would be whether the Bobcats want two point guards so similar in stature and skill set. They are both listed at 6-foot-1. Walker weighs 184 pounds, Napier 182. Charlotte Observer

April 28, 2014 Updates
April 27, 2014 Updates
April 19, 2014 Updates

Regardless of how this series turns out for the Bobcats, what’s the upside for this team considering the salary cap room, the number of draft picks and securing a head coach in Steve Clifford? A: I would say the future is bright and I think it started with the Al Jefferson deal, a deal a lot of people questioned. He’s given them an anchor on their front line offensively, especially on a team that doesn’t shoot it well. I like Kemba Walker. I think he’s definitely a guy that he will be a guy you can rely on to be the starting point guard for many years to come. Charlotte Observer

April 17, 2014 Updates

Clifford and Walker had established a solid relationship shortly after Clifford was hired last offseason. The third-year guard jelled with the first-year coach, who he described as a “real down-to-earth, cool guy.” Walker saw another side of Clifford during that game, though, one that said more than the words he spoke. “He really surprised me and he got into me. I really deserved it,” Walker told Basketball Insiders. “It motivated me and it helped me. … That’s kind of the first time an NBA coach has gotten into me. It was a mixture [of yelling and speaking]. It showed me that he cared about me because if he didn’t say anything, then I’m like he doesn’t care. But it showed me that he knows that I can do more. Looking back, I appreciate it.” Basketball Insiders

April 8, 2014 Updates

Napier played as a freshman on the team Walker led to the national championship in 2011. They are remarkably similar in physical stature – both 6-foot-1 and about 185 pounds. They both are extremely difficult to contain off the dribble in the pick-and-roll. So Napier has come to be thought of as “Kemba 2.0.” Napier finished off his college career with 22 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists against Kentucky. He made eight of 16 shots from the field and four of eight from 3-point range. Walker had the highest praise for him at Bobcats practice Tuesday. “There are always going to be comparisons, especially since I played with him. I’m happy for him,” Walker said. “He showed he’s the best point guard in college basketball right now. I don’t think there’s anybody better than him.” Charlotte Observer

March 13, 2014 Updates
February 24, 2014 Updates
February 7, 2014 Updates

Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker has a message to those fans who think losing games to improve draft position is this team’s best route: Forget it. “That’s ridiculous, as far as us tanking and getting a high draft pick,” Walker said following practice Thursday. “I don’t think we need any more (high) draft picks at this point.” Charlotte Observer

February 6, 2014 Updates
January 31, 2014 Updates

Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker has setback, will not play tonight against Los Angeles Lakers. Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker will not play tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers, and coach Steve Clifford sounded less confident Friday about Walker’s availability the rest of this West Coast trip. Walker missed the last five games with a sprained left ankle suffered Jan. 18. He tried to participate in morning shootaround at the Staples Center, but felt pain during the initial stretching and had to leave the court. Charlotte Observer

January 29, 2014 Updates

Tuesday he was running without any noticeable limp, and that seemed like a bit of a breakthrough. “This is the period when he’s making the most progress. So we’ll see,” coach Steve Clifford said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to do a little more tomorrow and maybe practice Thursday” in Los Angeles. That means it’s conceivable Walker could play as soon as Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, though Saturday against the Phoenix Suns or Tuesday against the Warriors seems more realistic. Charlotte Observer

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