Pick 9: Charlotte selects Kemba Walker to a very warm reception by the Prudential Center crowd. He takes to the stage, and immediately begins crying. Maybe kissing a hot blonde would help.
Walker might go down as the best draft pick in Bobcats franchise history, both at the time and in hindsight. I've called that way too early, but the competition for the award is not hot.
In keeping with the apparent need to embarrass draftees as soon as they are drafted, a pincer movement of Stu Scott's trivia sheet and some arcane 90's video footage shows a young Kemba Walker throwing some shapes on some stage or other. Ever eager to make strangers cringe, we shall reproduce that here now.
When interviewed by Heather Cox, Kemba's mother Andrea compares the sight of him being drafted to "the day I gave birth to him." That's just a weird way to phrase it.
Kemba Walker - Walker was the best player on the team that one the national title. There's an obvious endorsement. He started out the season on via in the Maui Invitation, proving to be the best scorer in the land. He then hit a bit of a wall when defenses keyed in on him - Kemba was rather a one man show, but only because he had to be - before his young supporting cast improved sufficiently to the point where Kemba could begin to operate. And then he dominated again.
Walker started out at UConn as a passer, trying to set up guys such as Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson, overly deferential to players who weren't as good of scorers as he was. But he went to to embrace the role of primary scorer, arguably the nation's best. And while he did get a bit shot-happy at times, it's all a part of the curve.
Moreso than perhaps anybody in the entire draft - even Kyrie Irving - Walker can create his own shot. Utilising step-backs, a tight handle, pump fakes and his blazing speed, Walker can either get to the basket, or create the space for the jumper. He has range, finishes around the basket well for a little guy, and didn't forget how to find the open man. His size is a bit of an issue defensively, yet there as well, his speed and agility are a virtue, as are is good hands. And despite being such a huge role on the offense and such a focus for the opposing defense, Kemba was not at all turnover prone.
He could stand to be a slightly better and less streaky long range shooter, and may have to return to being more of a passer in the pros, but there's a lot to like.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.