NBA

Kemba Walker will 'forever love' Michael Jordan

By Sports Desk July 17, 2019

Boston Celtics recruit Kemba Walker will "forever love" Michael Jordan for giving him a chance in the NBA.

Walker joined the Celtics via sign and trade earlier this month, ending an eight-season stay in Charlotte with the Bobcats and Hornets.

The three-time All-Star guard, unveiled by the Celtics on Wednesday, paid tribute to Hornets owner and NBA great Jordan.

"He had a great influence on me. First of all, he drafted me. He gave me my opportunity to play in this league," Walker said.

"He allowed me to play through mistakes, allowed me as a person, as a man. I love that dude, that's my guy, we have a great relationship.

"I'll forever love him because of the opportunity he gave me."

Walker has reportedly signed a four-year, $141million max contract with the Celtics, who are 17-time NBA champions.

The 29-year-old said he was eager for success with Boston after reaching the playoffs just twice in eight seasons in Charlotte.

"For me, it's the competitiveness of this organisation, they've been winning for years," Walker said.

"You can see all the banners upstairs and in the arena. It's a winning organisation and I want to win – that's what I'm about.

"Throughout my basketball career and as a pro, I haven't won consistently, and I just want to get a taste of that. I thought that this was the best place for me to do that."

Related items

  • Celtics' Hayward set to miss six weeks Celtics' Hayward set to miss six weeks

    Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is set to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hand.

    Hayward, 29, fractured the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the Celtics' 135-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

    The Celtics confirmed the surgery on Monday and are set to be without Hayward until late December.

    "Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery today to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand," a Celtics statement read.

    "The injury occurred during Saturday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

    "He is expected to return to play in approximately six weeks."

    Hayward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Celtics this season.

  • I just love to hoop - LeBron James unsure over load management I just love to hoop - LeBron James unsure over load management

    LeBron James "just loves to hoop", but has acknowledged the importance of only playing when he is fully fit.

    James, who turns 35 next month, has enjoyed a stellar, 17-year NBA career across spells at the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and, currently, the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Fellow superstar Kawhi Leonard signed for the Lakers' city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason, after helping the Toronto Raptors to the championship in 2018-19.

    Three-time All Star Leonard has stressed the importance of "load management" over recent campaigns, and the subject of how much rest should be afforded to NBA players came to the fore again when the 28-year-old sat out the Clippers' recent clash with the Milwaukee Bucks.

    However, James - who has clocked up 46,551 regular-season minutes and 10,049 postseason minutes - has insisted his love of basketball means he will always play when possible, but added he has learned to manage his body as his career has gone on.

    "Me, personally, if I'm hurt and if I’m not able to play and I feel like I'll hurt my team, then I won't play. That's the [arrangement] me and my coaching staff have always had," 15-time All Star James told Yahoo Sports.

    "You can talk to any of my coaches throughout the course of my career. They get mad at me because I don't like sitting down. You can ask anybody.

    "They'll be mad as hell at me because I won't sit down. I just love to hoop, but I've also been fortunate enough to take care of my body, except for last year and a couple of years where I maybe had a couple of bumps and bruises or the last game before the season and we're getting ready for the postseason and you'll take that game off, but you're doing that because you don't want to risk anything going into the postseason.

    "I just love to hoop, personally."

  • Nurse makes plans for Leonard reunion after ending Lakers run Nurse makes plans for Leonard reunion after ending Lakers run

    Nick Nurse vowed to devise a plan to "make life very difficult" for Kawhi Leonard when the Toronto Raptors do battle with the NBA Finals MVP star on Monday.

    Leonard left the Raptors to join the Los Angeles Clippers in July after playing a huge part in Toronto's maiden NBA title triumph.

    The champions ended the Los Angeles Lakers' seven-match winning streak with a 113-104 victory at Staples Center on Sunday and will come face to face with Leonard for the first time since his departure at the same venue on Monday.

    Raptors head coach Nurse is looking forward to catching up with Leonard but is determined to prevent the three-time NBA All-Star from enjoying his evening.

    "It's going to great. It was great to see Danny [Green] tonight and it's going to be great to see Kawhi," said Nurse.

    "You go [through] something like that where you're all kind of sealed in together, fighting that out for a couple of months – you get a special experience there.

    "In saying that, I'm going to stay up late tonight trying to devise some sort of scheme to make life very difficult for him."

    Nurse was impressed with the contribution made by players coming off the bench in an impressive defeat of the Lakers, which moved the Raptors to 7-2.

    "Those guys did a great job. I think everybody that stepped out there, they didn't only contribute, they played awesome," said Nurse.

    "I'll give credit to some of our bench guys. My first unit went out there and was much more solid, I thought we were executing the schemes better.

    "We were doubling [Anthony] Davis and doubling LeBron [James], covering up some easy stuff at the rim and then that next crew came in and they really bothered them. 

    "I think Rondae [Hollis-Jefferson] bothered them, Chris [Boucher] was protecting the rim, they weren't giving up any second shots. It was a hard-playing group effort."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.