I had a chance to talk with Bobcats rookie Kemba Walker prior to the Celtics game against Charlotte on Tuesday night. Here is what the UConn star, who is averaging 12.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game had to say.
1. How much communication have you had with Michael Jordan this year?
Walker: Not much. I mean, when we are at home he is around. We see him then, but he’s busy, so not much really.
1a. Has he talked to you individually at all?
2. You were a scoring point guard in college. How difficult is that to bring into the NBA, trying to set up guys but also get your points with a group you haven’t been able to play with much?
Walker: I think I’ve actually done a pretty good job. We talk with the coaches and watch film, try to get better. But I think I’ve done pretty good.
3. You guys have a lot of injuries right now. Will this help you in the long run, getting all this playing time?
Walker: Yeah, I think so. I think so. I was on and off, having some ups and downs during the course of the season. But yeah, me playing a lot will definitely help. For me, Bismack, and Cory, us being rookies that’s going to help a lot, especially when those guys come back. I think we’re going to be a much better team, because I know what to do more when I’m out on the floor more with the second group. So yeah, it’ll be a lot better.
4. Are you already the leader of this team?
Walker: No, I’m not the leader.
4a. Who is the leader?
Walker: (long pause): Well, yeah, right now maybe I am the leader, with all the guys out. I’m the point guard, floor leader. But D.J. [Augustin] and Corey [Maggette] are the leaders. It’s D.J.’s team.
5. Any extra motivation playing against an All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo? Measuring stick kind of game?
Walker: Nah man, not really. I just played Steve Nash the other night, I got Chris Paul. (Seems like every night in this league, right?) Basically it is. Basically you just got to go out there and play basketball. Play hard and try to win, that’s all you can do.
Rich Keefe is the Celtics Reporter for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. You can follow him on twitter: @Keefe21