Charlotte Hornets Throwback: Kemba drops 52 on MLK Day

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it feels like a good time to reminisce on Kemba Walker’s 52 point eruption for the Charlotte Hornets in 2016.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is such a special day, and it’s nice to see the NBA play games on the day and pay tribute to the man. While the Charlotte Hornets won’t be playing today, they did back in 2016 against the Jazz, and boy was it epic.

The game was an absolute thriller, and had the fans on the edge of their seats all afternoon. Kemba Walker scored 52 points, which was a career high at the time and also a franchise record for points in a game. Walker also added nine rebounds and eight assists during the exciting game.

He and the Hornets were able to withstand 37 points from Gordon Hayward, which was also a career-high at the time for him. Hayward is now, of course, a member of the Boston Celtics.

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Current New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke sent the game into overtime with a clutch three-pointer from the corner. Then, in the overtime period, Rudy Gobert sent the game into double overtime with a wide open dunk under the basket.

Eventually, Walker and the Hornets would close it out and come away with a 124-119 victory. He went on to score 40 points against the Orlando Magic just two games later.

It was a memorable game, and it may have been a game that caught a lot of folks attention. Kemba Walker has always been a favorite around the league, but from that point until now, he’s been viewed as a legit NBA star, and rightfully so.

Since then, Walker has had a 60 point game in his career. That game came earlier this season against the Philadelphia 76ers. He then followed it up with a 43 point game against the Boston Celtics.

He’s obviously come a long way and is now one of the best offensive players in the entire league, averaging an incredible 25.0 points for Charlotte this season, and is also working on his third consecutive All-Star appearance.

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Kemba and the Charlotte Hornets will be back in action on Wednesday night, when they host the Memphis Grizzlies. After losing in Indiana last night, the team will be hungry for a bounce back win.