Kemba Walker spent a long time waiting to hear for offers from NBA franchises, but they never came. This is why the former All-Star decided to begin the latest chapter of his basketball career as he inked a deal with French club AS Monaco this past Friday.
The 33-year-old, who still has plenty of years to compete at a high level, admitted he was “not certain” if he will ever return to play in the US league. After he produced a couple of unimpressive campaigns in recent years, especially his last with the Dallas Mavericks, NBA teams stopped showing interest in him.
No doubt he will miss playing on the game’s biggest stage, but now he doesn’t even feel like it is something he wants, as his European career is underway.
Kemba Walker has agreed to a deal with European club AS Monaco pic.twitter.com/k1K25Gbxlj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 21, 2023
“I’m not certain. I mean, the NBA is obviously the main goal, but I’ve played there for many years,” the player said in his first interview for his new club. “For now, I’m solely focused on my new adventure, this experience that awaits me with the new life I’m going to have.
“I’m so excited and eager to seize this opportunity in Monaco. I can’t wait to explore the city and meet the people, my teammates, the staff, and everything surrounding the club. We’re going to have some great moments. Can’t wait for it to begin.”
The veteran was one of the best guards in the NBA during the decade of the 2010s, as he spent his best days playing as the star player of a struggling Charlotte Hornets franchise. His best campaign so far was during the 2018/19 season, when he averaged a career-high 25.6 points per contest, adding 4.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.2 steals.
Unfortunately, he then suffered recurrent knee injuries during his stints with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Mavs, as he never played with them more than 56 matches per season.
Now, Walker expects to be healthy and play a bigger role in France. “The club was very interested in me, and I just wanted to be part of a club that wanted me, that believed in me,” he said. “I saw that the directors felt I could help them reach another level. That’s what convinced me and made me decide to join Monaco. What’s more, it’s an extraordinary city where I want to spend some time and gain new life experiences.
“So it’s going to be a really fun time, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I just want to keep playing basketball at a high level, and Monaco allows me to do that”
Kemba revealed that he’s only received positive references of the Euroleague and can’t wait to start this new chapter
“I’ve only heard good things about the EuroLeague. And I have many friends who play in this competition. One of my former college teammates and one of my closest friends Shabazz Napier gave me a lot of advice in making this decision,” Walker revealed.
Check out some of the veteran’s best highlights on NBA courts during his 12-season career:
The NBA has been dominated by some of Europe’s best talents in the past years, including former league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Denver’s champion Nikola Jokic, and current league best Joel Embiid.
“I know a lot of players who have played abroad, and I’ve had only good feedback on this competition,” he said about the EuroLeague. “I can’t wait to fight it out [on the court], it will be an extraordinary moment.”
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