Just a day after Kemba Walker announced to the world he was retiring from professional basketball, he’s revealed that he’s returning to the place where he first found success in the NBA. Yes, the former All-Star will be a part of the Charlotte franchise for the 2024-25 campaign, only not as a player, but as part of the team’s coaching staff.

The Hornets have just announced him as a player enhancement coach, which sounds absolutely fitting for an athlete who earned three of his All-Star selections during his eight years at the club. Also, Kemba remains the franchise’s all-time leader in points with 12,009.

Besides playing in North Carolina, the 34-year-old also took his talents to represent the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. Before finally calling it quits, he decided to try out European basketball last year and signed for French team As Monaco.

“This has all been a dream,” the four-time NBA All-Star said in a statement he posted on social media. “When I look back, I still can’t believe the things I achieved in my career.”

Walker is convinced he would’ve not been able to achieve success without the people around him. “I know I couldn’t have made it to this point without my incredible support system around me.

“There are so many people to thank — my mom, dad and entire family, my teammates who have become family, and the coaches who believed in me and brought out the best in me,” he wrote. “Basketball will forever be a part of my life so this isn’t goodbye. I’m excited for what’s next.”

Unfortunately for the guard, he saw his career derailed by injuries in the past several campaigns, including his 37-game season for the Knicks two years ago. He signed with the Mavericks on November 2022, but was waived only three months later in January after playing 9 contests for Dallas.

NBA stars pay homage to Kemba after he announced his retirement, as many players around the league consider him an inspiration

If there’s one thing we know for sure about Kemba Walker’s basketball career, is the fact that it touched many athletes along the way, including new NBA players who saw him as a huge inspiration growing up. Truth is, he began to influence people around him ever since he won the NCAA National Championship with the Huskies in college.

“With no question, one of the greatest players I’ve ever coached,” said former UConn coach Jim Calhoun. “But you combine that with having a great family and being one the nicest people and teammates a basketball team could ever have.”

Another who dedicated some words of admiration for him was New Orleans center Cody Zeller. “[I] made a whole career out of setting screens for you, getting out of the way and letting you do the rest,” shared the Pelicans big man.

And like icing on a cake, Celtics champions Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and coach Joe Mazzulla also extended their congratulations for the newly-retired star. “It was an honor and a privilege to be your teammate, from a kid that literally grew up and watched you in the NCAA tournament and watched you in the league,” the superstar forward expressed in a video to Kemba.


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