Kemba Walker spent his first eight seasons in the NBA playing for the Charlotte Hornets, becoming an All-Star and the team’s all-time leader in points scored.
Thursday night, he returns to Charlotte as the enemy.
Walker will make his first appearance at Spectrum Center as a member of the Boston Celtics, the team he signed with in the off-season.
“I know it’s going to be pretty emotional,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “But I’m looking forward to it.”
And then a pause before adding, “I really want to beat them.”
Walker signed a four-year, $141 contract with the Celtics, a bigger deal than the Hornets offered.
So far in this early season, it has looked like a pretty good decision. Walker leads the team with 26.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game as his Celtics are 5-1.
The Hornets, which signed Boston’s Terry Rozier as Walker’s replacement, are 4-3.
Thursday’s game begins at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on TNT.