Kemba Walker has officially joined AS Monaco in one of the biggest transfers in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague history. Walker (1.83 meters, 33 years old) has signed a one-year deal with Monaco, following a glittering 12-season career in the NBA. The American guard averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.2 steals over 750 regular-season games in the NBA, while he posted 19.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 31 playoff games across four seasons. Walker, an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2019, now brings his talents to the old continent as he prepares to play in the EuroLeague for the first time in his career.
Monaco signs four-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker
A four-time NBA All-Star
Ever since his arrival in the NBA in the 2011-12 season, having earned much acclaim in the United States for guiding the University of Connecticut to the 2011 NCAA title, Walker thrilled fans with his scoring in the league. The former ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft played a total of 616 games with the Charlotte Hornets between 2011 and 2019, averaging at least 17.0 points per game in seven of his eight seasons with the franchise. Walker also began to receive more acclaim from the NBA fans as a whole, being named as an NBA All-Star in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the last of those selections coming as a Boston Celtics player.
Taking Charlotte to the playoffs
Walker first guided Charlotte to the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, posting 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.2 steals in the regular season before averaging 19.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the postseason as the Hornets fell 0-4 to the Miami Heat.
Then, in the 2015-16 campaign, Walker averaged 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals, but he narrowly missed out on making the All-Star team. He did, however, guide Charlotte to the playoffs, with his team narrowly losing in a seven-game series against Miami.
By that point, Walker was renowned inside the league for his ability to score the basketball, and he continued to average over 20 points per game over the next three seasons, posting 23.2 points in 2016-17, 22.1 points in 2017-18 and a career-high 25.6 points in 2018-19. As such, he earned three All-Star appearances in each of those three years.
The summer of 2019 saw Walker leave for Boston in a sign and trade deal, following the exit of Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets. Walker retained his average of scoring at least 20 points per night, averaging 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his first year in Boston as he became an NBA All-Star for the fourth time in his career.
Back in the playoffs
The 33-year-old also returned to the playoffs with the Celtics and got past the first round for the first time in his career. Walker shined for Boston, averaging 19.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 17 games as the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
Following an injury-affected start to the 2020-21 campaign, Walker made his season debut in mid-January and went on to post 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 43 regular-season contests. In the 2021 NBA Playoffs, however, he could only play the first three games of Boston's series against Brooklyn due to a bone bruise in his left knee. Despite that ailment, he still averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists between Games 1 and 3.
The last two years
Walker decided to return to his hometown of New York to join the New York Knicks in the offseason of 2021, with the guard posting 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 37 regular-season games. Unfortunately for the Charlotte legend, he missed the second half of the campaign due to knee problems.
Last season, Walker signed with the Dallas Mavericks in late November suited up for the franchise nine times, in which time he averaged 8.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists off the bench.
A European adventure
Before the signing deadline in the 2022-23 EuroLeague Regular Season, Walker had been rumored with a move to Italian side EA7 Emporio Armani Milan following his exit from Dallas in January 2023. Nothing came of it at the time, but now Walker can look ahead to his first taste of EuroLeague basketball in the upcoming campaign.
Monaco is coming off a season in which it reached the EuroLeague Final Four for the first time in the club's history, and the French club is showing that it truly means business by signing a player of the caliber of Walker. Kemba, welcome to the EuroLeague, your new home.