Michael Jordan has impacted the careers of plenty of NBA players both past and present.
Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker is one of those players, and he’s proud to have learned from the best.
Before joining the Celtics in 2019, Walker spent eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets organization, which Jordan owns. Walker had always looked up to Jordan, especially in his childhood, and wanted to make the kinds of clutch shots Jordan did back in his prime.
So getting drafted ninth overall by Jordan’s squad, then known as the Bobcats, in the 2011 NBA Draft was a dream come true for Walker.
“(He) changed my life as well on draft night,” Walker said, via the Celtics. “Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be playing for MJ and be able to have a relationship with him. And I did. That’s like my big brother. I appreciate him. Very grateful to him and what he’s done for me and my family and how he helped me progress through my career.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 26, 2020
Walker’s relationship with Jordan clearly runs deep, and Jordan did more than just support Walker’s game on the court. He supported Walker’s mental health, too, helping pull Walker out of depression early in his NBA career. Since then, Walker has bloomed into one of the league’s biggest stars, averaging more than 20 points per game for the last five seasons.
So when Walker left Charlotte for Boston, Jordan had nothing but good things to say, lauding Walker’s “tremendous heart and tireless work ethic.”
And by the sounds of it, Walker will never forget what Jordan has done for his career.