Point guard Kemba Walker says leaving the Charlotte Hornets was the toughest decision of his career.
“I think the hardest part for me is having to leave the city and organization that I’ve been a part of for eight years,” he told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. “The organization that gave me my first opportunity to go from a boy to a man in this league. Charlotte is a place that I love very much.”
Walker has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $141 million contract with the Boston Celtics. Walker says his motivation to win is why he’s headed to Boston.
“I want to be a part of something really special like being able to compete at the highest level. And give myself the best opportunity to make a run in the playoffs,” Walker said.
As part of the deal with the Celtics, the Hornets are expected to acquire point guard Terry Rozier. He’ll reportedly receive $58 million over three years. Rozier has spent all four seasons of his career in Boston, averaging nine points and 2.9 assists per game last season. Walker, the Hornets all-time leading scorer was drafted by the then Charlotte Bobcats in 2011 on the heels of winning an NCAA championship for the University of Connecticut.
In a statement on Monday, Hornets owner and Chairman Michael Jordan called Walker a special player with a tremendous heart and tireless work ethic. Jordan said Walker is one of the best to ever play for the Hornets.