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Kemba Walker Holds Back Tears in Emotional Return to Charlotte

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Kemba Walker joined the Boston Celtics this offseason, signing a four-year, $141 million contract as a free agent.

In doing so, Walker left behind the only team that he had ever played for, the Charlotte Hornets.

Walker clearly loved his time in Charlotte, leading the franchise to a lot of success as their star player in his eight seasons with the Hornets.

Thursday night marked his return to Charlotte, playing the Hornets for the first time as a visiting player.

Prior to the game, the Hornets played a tribute video honoring Kemba’s time with the organization before he was announced to the Charlotte fans to a rousing ovation.

Walker had a big smile on his face watching the outpouring of love and respect and held back tears as he embraced his new teammates and got ready for the game.

Playing without Walker, the Hornets are clearly not the same level of team as they were in the past and the Celtics were able to cruise to a 108-87 victory.

Walker spent the first eight seasons of his career in Charlotte and holds various franchise records.

He is their all-time leading scorer, racking up 12,009 career points and is second to Muggsy Bogues in all-time assists. He also has played more minutes than any other Hornet in franchise history.

While Walker is now embarking on the second stage of his career with the Boston Celtics, when his career is all said and done there is no doubt that his No. 15 will be hanging from the rafters in Charlotte.

Basketball

Kings End Celtics 10-Game Winning Streak Behind Buddy Hield’s 35-Point Effort

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After losing on opening night to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics reeled off 10-straight wins, vaulting themselves to the top of the Eastern Conference.

That winning streak couldn’t last forever though and it ended on Sunday at the hands of Buddy Hield and the Sacramento Kings.

Playing without star point guard De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento relied on Hield to take on an even bigger role in the offense and his hot shooting propelled the Kings to the victory.

Hield put together his first 30-point effort of the season, dropping 35 points on 14-of-24 shooting. Hield’s game is always predicated on the three-point shot and he was on fire from downtown against Boston, making seven threes.

The Celtics top scorer was Jaylen Brown, as he had 18 points to lead Boston. In the end though, the Celtics shot just 33% from three-point range and did not do enough offensively to get the win.

Both of Boston’s losses this season have come on the road, as they still hold a perfect 5-0 record at TD Garden to start the year. Right now they are in the midst of a five-game west coast trip, with three games left to be played.

The Celtics will finally return home a week from Monday, when they will get a chance to get some revenge as Hield and the Kings come to their arena to finish of their season series.

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Basketball

Warriors Down to Nine-Man Roster After D’Angelo Russell’s Latest Injury

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The Golden State Warriors can’t seem to catch a break, as they have been stuck with the injury bug dating back to the NBA Finals this summer.

Klay Thompson and Steph Curry highlight the list of injured Warriors, but that list just continues to grow.

D’Angelo Russell has been tasked with filling the scoring void left by the ‘Splash Brothers’, recently dropping 52 points last Friday. Now Russell is on the inactive list too though, after injuring his thumb.

Without Russell the Warriors rotation is getting really thin, as they are down to just nine healthy players on their roster.

The Warriors can’t afford to get into foul trouble on any night, or they will seriously run the risk of running their few healthy players into the ground.

Golden State has gone from being on top of the NBA for the last five years, to all of a sudden being the worst team in the league. Their 2-11 record is the worst mark in the NBA.

Maybe with a healthy Steph and Klay, the Warriors can get back to their winning ways next season, but for now it appears Golden State’s dynasty is over.

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Basketball

Paul George Drops 33 Points in Clippers Debut

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The Los Angeles Clippers have looked pretty good so far this year, adding Kawhi Leonard to a roster that pushed the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs last year.

Still, the Clippers have yet to realize their full potential, as we all seemed to forget that they acquired two superstars this offseason, not one.

Trading for Paul George was the linchpin in the Clippers acquiring Leonard, as Kawhi wanted to play with another superstar.

George missed the first 11 games of the season, recovering from shoulder surgery, but finally hit the floor on Thursday night.

George was inserted into the starting lineup in Kawhi’s place against the New Orleans Pelicans, as he was resting his sore knee.

Despite the Clippers limiting him to just 24 minutes, George dropped 33 points in his Clippers debut, shooting an efficient 10 of 17 from the field.

George shot 3-for-5 from three-point range and was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.

Throughout the entire night, George showcased the scoring prowess that made many people pick the Clippers as the favorites to win a championship this year.

Unfortunately for George, Jrue Holiday spoiled his debut, scoring a game-high 36 points to lead the Pelicans to a victory.

Holiday was the best player on the floor on this night, stealing the ball from George three times in the game’s final minutes to seal a victory for New Orleans.

Derrick Favors had a great game for the Pelicans as well, putting together the rare 20-point, 20-rebound, double-double.

While the Pelicans won the game, the Clippers have to be happy with the way George looked, especially since Leonard wasn’t on the floor.

Los Angeles still has 70 games left in the season to fully integrate the superstar tandem of Leonard and George, with a core that includes gritty players like Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley.

Now that everyone is healthy, it should be fun to watch the Clippers gel together as one of the best teams in the NBA.

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