Charlotte Hornets: 20 greatest player seasons in franchise history

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

13. Kemba Walker, 2017-18

  • NBA All-Star
  • NBA Sportsmanship Award
  • 22.1 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG
  • 8.6 Win Shares, 3.6 Value Over Replacement Player

Kemba Walker first made a name for himself leading the UConn Huskies to the national title in 2011 as a junior. The Bobcats made him the No. 11 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after that tremendous tournament run with UConn.

Yes, it took a while for Walker to find his footing in the NBA. But by the time the 2017-18 NBA season rolled around, he was well on his way to being a perennial All-Star as a member of the Hornets. 2017-18 marked his second-straight Eastern Conference All-Star appearance, as well as him earning his second-straight NBA Sportsmanship Award.

Charlotte may not have qualified for the playoffs that year, but Walker continued his assertion as the best player of this era of Hornets basketball. He averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. This netted him 8.6 win shares and a 3.6 value over replacement player.

Sure, Walker has largely asserted himself in the NBA in the manner he did at UConn as a score-first point guard. His assist numbers could be better, but nobody on the Hornets knows how to get a much-needed bucket like Walker can.

Overall, 2017-18 wasn’t a year of great significance for the Hornets. That being said, it was certainly a step in the right direction for Walker’s budding stardom. He became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer in that campaign, perhaps ascending to the top of the greatest players in Charlotte professional basketball history.

This was a year that proved 2016-17 was no fluke for Walker. With him adding a third trip to the NBA All-Star Game in 2018-19, Walker has undoubtedly emerged as one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference today. Being still in his late 20s, we are certain Walker has a few more prime years left, hopefully all in Hornets uniform.