Video report by Rich Coppola, Fox CT
Text by Dom Amore, The Hartford Courant
Just two seasons in, Walker’s stamp is on the Charlotte franchise, which is rebuilding and rebranding as the Hornets. He’s all-in and determined to lift the team toward respectability.
“Of course, I’m more of a leader now,” said Walker, who suited up for the Greater Hartford Pro-Am on Saturday night and scored 31 points. “I’m more mature. I’m older. I have a different role. At first, I was just a role player coming off the bench. Last season, I kind of established myself as a point guard, as the leader of that team. Now, I’ve got to keep on establishing myself and taking on that leadership.”
Walker, 23, started all 82 games, averaging 17.7 points and 5.7 assists to lead the team. The Bobcats, as they were still known, were 21-61 — an improvement over Walker’s rookie season, when they were 7-59. The franchise has changed coaches twice during Walker’s young career, firing Paul Silas in 2012 and Mike Dunlap after this past season. Steve Clifford will coach next season. One of his assistants, Mark Price, the former Cavs guard who gets credit for helping Rajon Rondo improve his jump shot, was the perfect kind of player to help Walker, who has now been with the team as long as anyone on the roster, take it up to another level.
To read the complete story by Dom Amore, click here to go to courant.com.