By Matt Rochinski
February 24, 2012
After two days in Orlando running through the NBA's media circuit, making appearances at the NBA Jam Session signing autographs, practicing with his teammates, going through more media interviews, lending a hand to NBA Cares and playing in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Bobcats rookie Kemba Walker only has one regret.
"I wish we would have won," Walker laughed following Team Shaq's 146-133 loss to Team Chuck. "I really wish we would have won, but unfortunately we didn't. I had a lot of fun though, and hopefully I can be back."
If Walker's performance has anything to do with a repeat invite in 2013, he should be a shoe-in. Walker finished with one of only two double-doubles in the game, scoring 10 points and dishing out a game-high 10 assists, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
"I wanted to show everything i could do," Walker said of his final statline. "I was actually trying to get a triple-double, but it didn't work out that way. i just wanted to play an overall complete game."
There was no hesitation for Walker once he took the court at the 14:55 mark of the first half and Team Shaq down, 18-7. Walker found open teammates early on, was aggressive on the glass and got into the scoring action. He finished the first half with nine points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as Team Shaq trailed 77-65 at the break.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Walker said. "I was just out there to have fun and put a show on for the crowd, and I thought we did a great job of doing that."
While the second half turned into more of a dunkfest, it was Walker often setting his teammates up. He did attempt one dunk late in the contest, but came up just short as the ball bounced off the iron.
"I didn't get high enough," he laughed. "I haven't dunked in a while, so… I don't know what happened."
But neither the loss or the missed dunk mattered in the end. What Walker loved the most was being able to have this experience in his rookie season.
"It's been nothing but a great experience just being around these guys," he said about all the Rising Stars. "We don't get a chance to talk a lot because we're all so busy, but now that we're al together, it's a cool experience. A lot of these guys are my friends, so just to be around them is pretty cool."
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