Back to Work After Tough End to the Road Trip
Hornets Captains Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams will continue to check in with hornets.com on Wednesdays this season for their 2018-19 Captains’ Blog presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Keep checking back to see what they have to say throughout the NBA regular season. If you know someone who is a captain in the local community, visit hornets.com/bluecrossnc to tell us about them! They could be rewarded for their efforts with a VIP Captain for a Day experience presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina!
By Marvin Williams
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 12:41 p.m.
Things didn’t really end the way we wanted them to on the road trip. With it being an off day, I’m sure guys are just trying to relax a little bit. We’re back, have a chance to be with our families, rest our bodies, rest our mind, but we’ve got a couple of days to get ready for a good Philadelphia 76ers team.
It’s good to have three days to rest and get two days of practice until then. We showed last night that we clearly need it. Take nothing away from Cleveland though. They played a heck of a game – offensively and defensively. We know we certainly didn’t play our best. We got a couple of days to get some quality work in and get ready for a good team on Saturday.
It’s nice to be able to roll into a three-game homestand. I feel like you can always get back right at home. I feel like we’ve always been very, very comfortable here when we’ve played here in the past. Guys like lacing them up and playing in front of our fans. Hopefully, it’ll be a great atmosphere the next couple of games and we can string together a few wins.
With the organization honoring the 30thAnniversary Team on Saturday, I’m looking forward to it personally to see some of the great Hornets legends. Guys that I played against and grew up watching play. Kemba’s a part of that as well, so I guess I can say played with, too. It’ll be a good night for me personally as a basketball fan.
An Honor to Be Named to 30th Anniversary Team
By Kemba Walker
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 3:26 p.m.
We’re coming off a 3-1 homestand and I think we’re all feeling pretty good. The Hive was alive last week and we really felt the fans’ energy and appreciate their support. All of us in the locker room really feel like we’re getting better every game, even in some of the losses that have been really close games. I think we’re doing a great job of just learning from every game and building on it.
Our offense has really been clicking to start the season and that’s a credit to our hard work and unselfishness. We’re a really unselfish group. We move the basketball pretty well and make the extra pass to get good shots. I think that is the biggest difference from the last couple years is just our unselfishness.
Now it’s time time head out on the road for a three-game trip, and this is an important one. Every game is important, but this is three games against teams in the Eastern Conference. We’re going to take them one game at a time and go out and win. One of our main goals is to try to rack up road wins. It’s hard to win on the road. It’s hard to win any single game in this league - home or away, but especially on the road. We just have to be locked in, try our best to execute the gameplan and try to take it from there.
When we get back home on November 17 against Philly, it’s going to be a big game for us. Not only are we going to be back in front of our fans at Spectrum Center, but it’s the 30th Anniversary Team recognition night on a Classic Night. It means a lot to me that the fans voted me onto this team. I feel like I’ve come a long way as a player, and for the fans to vote me in is a special feeling. That’s a lot of love because there is a lot of history with this franchise and a lot of great players who have come through here. For me to be one of 10 is special.
I’m honored to have come in third. I know Dell Curry came in 2nd and Alonzo Mourning came in 1st. That’s a pretty strong group to be a part of. When it first came out, Dell had a little laugh with me about it, but its all good! Dell was a very, very special player here and for me to even be in the same breath or conversation with him is a huge honor for me. I have tons of respect for Dell.
Don’t forget to get to the game early on the 17th too, so you can grab one of these T-shirts. They’re pretty dope! I’m loving the way they came out, especially with everyone with all of the different jerseys. I think that’s one of the cool things about it. It’s good to see GW (Gerald Wallace) on there too. He’s rocking that old Bobcats jersey and stands out. He was a helluva player when he was here too. I know the fans loved him, and I always enjoyed watching him play. He played so hard each and every night and that’s the kind of player you have to respect. I can’t wait to see who comes out on the 17th. Hope to see all of you there!
Happy Halloween Hornets Fans!
By Marvin Wiliams
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2:25 p.m.
It’s my first blog of the year and I’d just like to start by saying that I hope everyone and their families have a great Halloween. Halloween is one of those holidays that is very special to me. Growing up, I always loved Halloween. My mom was always cool with us going trick-or-treating and stuff and we loved it. Now, my fiancé, Sheena, is really into it. Every year she picks out a family costume for us, and it’s funny because we had people hitting us up early because they were excited to see what we were going to be this year. We’re going with an Alice in Wonderland theme! My daughter, Ari, is the Queen of Hearts, my fiancé will be Alice and I’m going to be the Mad Hatter, so I’m really looking forward to it. I went to a Halloween party a couple days ago that MKG had for the team and I got some good reviews on the costume, so hopefully the kids in the neighborhood will like it and won’t be scared of the 6-9 Mad Hatter.
Trick-or-treating is always fun. I’m going to be honest with you all – if it was acceptable, I would be trick-or-treating as an adult. I mean you get to go door-to-door, dress up and get as much candy as you possibly can. It’s an awesome experience. Now my daughter loves to dress up. She like to put on her dress and walk around the neighborhood and go trick-or-treating and obviously I enjoy taking her, and it’s nice this year too because we’re home and don’t have a game so I can really be involved. I’m not a big schedule guy when it first comes out, but my fiancé will take it and analyze it, and first thing she looks at is where we’ll be during the holidays. It’s fair because she is very big on holidays and I love getting to spend time with the family, so I’m excited to get dressed up and have a good time.
I’m also excited about this Hornets team and where we’re at. We’re getting better and I’m getting better and that’s always encouraging. It is still very, very early and we obviously want to continue to make strides but I do think if you looked from where we were at Game 1 to where we were with Game 8 last night, we’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve been in every single game that we’ve played, and even most of our losses have been by a bucket. So we’re right there, as long as we continue to get better and keep working, I think we’ll be okay.
One thing that definitely drives us is the support of our fans. I love to be home. I love to be in this city. Charlotte has been wonderful to me personally. North Carolina has been wonderful to me. So any time we get a chance to put on the home uniform and get out there in front of the fans, it’s always a good time. They show so much support and always have. That’s the one thing I will say about this fan base since I’ve been here – win or lose, they’re always supportive and it really does mean a lot to all of us. Happy Halloween to you all! We’ll see you on the court tomorrow.
Road has Been Fun! One More Stop and We're Ready to Come Back Home
By Kemba Walker
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 3:09 p.m.
Opening Night was a lot of fun. We got the L, which none of us were happy with, but we finished off strong. Obviously we had two chances to win but fell short, but it was a really exciting game. I thought the fans enjoyed it, and I know we enjoyed it even though we lost. The way we fought, the way we came back and everything that we showed, really helped us going into the Orlando game. It kind of gave us an idea of who we are and how we need to play basketball games. For us to go to Orlando and play the way that we played and the way that we executed, it was fun. With the coaching staff we had last year, it was great to play against those guys, who are now in Orlando. It was fun all around and we knew we had to get off to a good start on this four-game road trip.
Starting games well is something we want to continually get better at. We have to set a tone for the guys that come off the bench. Lately, we’ve kind of been struggling with that by coming out slow and trying to work our way into a game. We can’t do that. We’re not that kind of team. We need to come out and throw the first punch each and every night. We have to be aggressive and set the tone for the guys coming off the bench.
Individually, I don’t think I’ve had a better start to a season since my junior year in college at the Maui Invitational in 2010. That was probably the last time. I’m really just being aggressive. I worked really hard over the summer on my body and on my knee in order to be healthy and be able to play. I haven’t been healthy like this in a few years. I’m really just feeling good. Of course, being healthy with my new-and-improved shot helps a lot.
My coaches give me freedom to be aggressive. My teammates help me to be super aggressive. I’m doing great things offensively because I’m able to draw defenders and then get rid of the basketball. Sometimes, my assists might now show, but I see other guys. I can pass it to another guy, so he can get it to the next guy. Those are the kind of plays that I make a lot. Yeah, it’s been fun. I’ve had a great start. I know it’s only been four games in, but it’s fun. I’m out there just enjoying myself and just trying to win. That’s my main focus. Just go out there and try and win.
Winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award means a great deal, of course. To be recognized in this league that has so many great players, it’s always a great accomplishment. I’m nothing without my teammates, of course. These guys allow me to be myself. They’re the ones that allow me to get the points. They make passes to me, they create for me, they make plays for me. They take pressure off me. They allow me to play my game. They allow me to be a leader and I respect that about them.
It’s important to close out this first trip with a win and 3-1 road record. We’d love to do that. To be 3-1 on the road, it’s always tough to win when you’re the visitor in this league. If we can get that done, that’d be a huge accomplishment, especially going back home, where we play five of our next six games. We lost the home opener, but now, we want to try our best to get this last one on the road and go back home and get another win. I can’t wait to play in front of our home fans. It feels like we haven’t played at home in years! It feels like such a long time that we’ve been away. I’m excited and really happy to get back to Charlotte.
I’m Ready to Get Things Going on Opening Night!
By Kemba Walker
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2:19 p.m.
To put it in perspective, I feel like this is my first NBA game. I’m hyped. I’m excited. I’m just ready to get going. Watching the two games last night, after seeing that, the NBA season is finally here. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been done since April from last season. We’re done with preseason and now the regular season is here. The games matter [starting] with the opening game. I can’t wait.
We’ve got a new coaching staff. We’ve got some new players, a new system. Last year was a pretty disappointing season, obviously. Now, it’s a fresh start for us and we’re just ready to show people the work we put in over the summer - the work we put in over the course of the preseason and training camp. We’re ready to take our games to another level. We just want to win. We want to go out there and execute and play with great energy and really show the fans how much we will improve.
Having the classic jerseys and classic court for Opening Night is exciting. I got a chance to be on the court – I actually had a chance to work out on it this morning. I’m super excited to feel that energy. I always hear stories about how crazy it was when the old Hornets were here. To have that feeling is going to be great. Hopefully, the fans bring that energy tonight, but it’s going to be on us for those guys to have that energy and I think we’ll bring it out.
I’m going to come out with a lot of energy tonight just because I’m so excited. The adrenaline’s going to be pumping. Everyone’s excited. That’s just how it is on Opening Night. So excited - and like I said, it’s been such a long summer for us. We’re just ready to show and prove what we can do.
Going 4-1 in the preseason counts for us. I know the record doesn’t count, but we went out there in the preseason in those games and we took those games very serious. We weren’t really worried about the other teams we were playing against. The mindset for us was to go out there and execute what we did in our practices and just get better possession by possession, day by day, game by game. We wanted to execute. We wanted to get better. They mattered to us. We know they didn’t count. We know right now we’re 0-0, but at the same time, we got better in those games. We executed our offense. Whenever we made a mistake defensively, we spoke to each other and we got it right.
It helps to have other options on any team. The more guys that you can have scoring or just playmaking in general, it helps. To have more options is better. Whenever you have other guys making plays, it just takes more pressure off me. It just makes things easier for me as a player.
I also think having depth brings trust. It allows me to trust guys. I always trust my teammates, but it’s a great feeling to know that guys are going to come in, be about their business, go in, execute, play hard and play the right way. Honestly, a lot of that has to do with Tony Parker coming off the bench. He’s been a starter in our league for years. He just knows how to manage the game, he knows how to talk to guys, he knows how to bring the best out of guys and that’s what he’s doing. He’s dictating the tempo and that means a lot. It’s an honor to have him. He’s the reason I think our bench is going to excel.
It's almost gametime. Let’s go! I can’t wait to see you all at Spectrum Center tonight when we tip off.