NBA

Walker hails Hornets owner Michael Jordan and calls Charlotte return 'special'

By Sports Desk November 08, 2019

Kemba Walker was "really emotional" after the reception he received on his return to Charlotte as the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak against the Hornets.

Playing in Charlotte for the first time since he left in the close season, Walker was given a warm reception from the crowd and was choked up when the team displayed a tribute video.

The three-time All-Star was below his best, scoring just 14 points, but the Celtics claimed a 108-87 victory to record their sixth straight win.

"It was special," Walker told reporters.

"Just to be back here, the amount of love I've been getting throughout this day, leading up to this day, the video just topped it off.

"It made me really emotional, I was trying to hold it in, but I couldn't, I knew I wasn't going to be able to.

"It was amazing, just a great feeling to know that they still have love for me even though I left. To be back and to get the reception I got was really cool."

Walker denied his below-par display had anything to do with the emotion of the night, adding: "I was just off, that's it. It's a part of the game.

"I just missed shots. I don't think the way I played had anything to do with the emotion or anything like that.

"My main focus was just to get a win and help in any way possible."

The 29-year-old revealed he did not catch up with Hornets owner Michael Jordan during his return, but said he remained close to the five-time MVP having spoken to him recently.

"MJ's always going to be a special guy in my life," Walker said.

"He's one of the reasons why I am who I am today. He gave me an opportunity to flourish as a basketball player, to grow as a man in this community.

"MJ's definitely going to have a special place in my heart, for sure."

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