Walker All-Star Selection Conference Call Transcript
Kemba Walker earned his first All-Star nod on Jan. 26 and spoke to the media following his selection. This is the transcript of his conference call with the media.
On where and when he found out he was named an NBA All-Star:
“I just heard from the show on TNT. I kind of told everybody, all my friends, if they find out before me, don’t tell me. I told my agent if he knew before me, don’t tell me. I just wanted to watch the show. Me and Roy [Hibbert were] in the room. Roy came up and we watched it together. Then after that, all of my teammates kind of stormed into my room, congratulated me, gave me huge hugs. It was pretty cool, pretty special time.”
On how special it is to be in New York, his hometown, to hear the news:
“It’s pretty cool. I do wish I was back home in Charlotte right now, but this is where I’m from, this is where I grew up at. To be here when I heard the news, of course it was pretty special as well.”
On if he had talked with Head Coach Steve Clifford since he found out and what he said:
“I spoke to him. He just told me he’s super proud of me, that it’s well deserved. Since day one, actually with Coach Cliff, he’s told me that I can be an All-Star in this league and it’s up to me, the work I put into my game, things like that. Looking at who I am today, [I] got my name called and he was right.”
On the work he’s put in to improve and become an All-Star:
“It’s special. I’ve worked really hard to try and become a better player each and every year in this league. I know there’s been a lot of doubt about me coming up in this league, but like I said, I just try to go out and give it my all. I try to play the game the right way each and every night and try to play as hard as possible and try to get as many wins as possible, so to get this accomplishment, it’s super special. I would have never thought that I’d be an All-Star in this league, so to finally have my name called, it’s really cool.”
On what it means to the Hornets organization to have an All-Star player
“I think it means a lot. I know everyone is excited for me. I’m excited for the organization as well. We’ve come a long way from my rookie year. We had some really down years. This accomplishment is special. To be representing the Hornets in the All-Star Game is going to be really fun and cool. I know everyone is excited. I know the fans are excited.”
On having five point guards in the Eastern Conference on the team:
“It’s crazy that five of us got in. I thought that would be kind of an issue. We’re all just playing some great basketball right now, I guess. The coaches, they saw that. And it’s different, it’s different than the past couple years, but it will be fun and I’m looking forward to getting out there with those guys.”
On if he will be playing some point-forward in the All-Star Game because of all the point guards that made it in the Eastern Conference:
"[Laughs] that's what it's looking like. I don't know, I'm not sure, it's going to be interesting. It's going to be fun."
On how much of this All-Star nomination he owes to Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes and his teammates for helping with the “Charlotte, Walker Ranger” campaign:
"A lot, a lot. Those guys, they helped me with the campaign of course. That was really cool what they did and we had a lot of fun doing it. Hopefully we can do some more actually now, that I actually made it. I owe those guys a lot. Not just Spencer and Frank but my whole team man. I'm around a very special group of guys. My teammates, they care for me a lot. They help me be the best I can be each and every day, each and every night playing and I appreciate those guys."
On as a team-first guy if he hopes this individual accolade will inspire his teammates in the second half of the season:
"By the way these guys [my teammates] reacted when my name was called I feel like they're inspired already. You know, I'm just going to try and continue to do what I've been doing. The main thing for me is just continuing to be the leader that I am. My teammates, they do a great job at just allowing me to lead each and every day out there on the floor. I think they're already inspired so hopefully this will spark something in all my teammates, and we can start playing some great basketball more consistently."
On where this ranks on his list of career accomplishments:
"Oh man, I don't know, I don't know. It definitely has to be up there. I mean, this is a special class right here to be an All-Star in the NBA. I don't think anybody would have thought when I was coming in the league that I would get this accomplishment. This is special. I don't know where I would rank it but it's definitely high on the list."