HoopsHype Kemba Walker rumors

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

January 28, 2014 Updates

Then Schwartz suggested Jefferson make a visit to Charlotte to at least hear the Bobcats out. The rest has been a happy half-season of history for all concerned. “I met the coaching staff. That was the first impression right there,” Jefferson said of Steve Clifford and his assistants. “That showed me that MJ [team chairman Michael Jordan], Rod [Higgins, Charlotte president of basketball operations] and those guys, they went and got a great coach and staff. That let me know right there they were trying to turn this franchise around. “Then I looked at the young talent: Jeff Taylor, MKG [Michael Kidd-Gilchrist], Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson. Bis [Bismack Biyombo], a great high-energy big. Brendan Haywood and [Jannero] Pargo, guys who have been around the league and know what it takes to win. You add a guy with my talent and the things I’m able to do on offense. And then you look at the East, I really thought that was the best decision for me.” NBA.com

January 23, 2014 Updates

Monday was the first time an injury forced Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker to miss a basketball game. As in ever. “I never missed a game in my life. First time,” Walker said of the left ankle sprain that will cost him about two weeks of the season. Charlotte Observer

January 19, 2014 Updates
January 18, 2014 Updates

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