With the franchise’s first drafted All-Star since Baron Davis in 2002 with Kemba Walker, a participant in the Rising Stars Challenge in Frank Kaminsky and Walker a Three-Point Contest finalist, Kaminsky netted a team-high 33 points, including 9-of-13 from deep.
His performance featured some 30-foot long balls that had Hornets fans screaming at their television–part hysteria. part exasperation.
Kaminsky is shooting 30.8 percent on shots behind the arc on 4.3 attempts per game, so this was like sprinkling salt on an open wound, as Kaminsky was billed as a stretch big coming out of college. It was just an All-Star showcase with little to no defense, but 9-of-13 is hard to ignore.
No doubt this game will stick in Hornets faithful’s minds if Frank comes back to Charlotte shooting at the same rate for a team desperate for spacing.
-i need this frank kaminsky to show up during the second half of the season in charlotte!
After posting 17 points, Walker watched Irving and Gordon both surpass that with scores of 20 apiece, with Gordon winning in the tiebreaker round. Nonetheless, it was refreshing to have a “dog in the fight”, and is a microcasm of Walker’s continued improvement.
After shooting less than 34 percent from deep each of his first four seasons, Walker has made himself into one of the better shooters in the NBA, particularly off the dribble.
The weekend concluded for the Hornets and the league on Sunday night in the All-Star game. Kemba recorded seven points, six assists and three rebounds in 20 minutes. Walker isn’t a high flier like many of the league’s main attractions, so his presence was a bit more understated.
Nonetheless, it was fun to see a Hornet as one of the 24 players representing their respective teams on what can be safely assumed as the world’s best pickup game in 2017.
Let’s not understate the opportunity for Walker to form and develop relationships with other star players either. Conversations of super teams of the past and present have been born within those All-Star and Olympic locker rooms.
Charlotte doesn’t have a great track record of being a premier free agency destination, but with Walker the franchise has the chance to become more attractive to players with wandering eyes.
He’s not LeBron James, but in Walker the Hornets have a bonafide star point guard in his prime, a necessity in the golden age of the 1 spot.
The Hornets have a lot of B-minus and C-plus pieces, with Walker being the only elite talent on the team. For a team badly lacking secondary playmaking and scoring, Walker was no doubt trying to sell Charlotte to some players in the locker room.
As we’ve learned, those discussions can quickly lead to much more as Charlotte seeks another piece to vault them into contention and out of the 35-45 win purgatory they’ve found themselves in for the past few years.