Kemba Walker on joining French club: I wanted a new experience

Former NBA point guard Kemba Walker is playing well and appears to be enjoying himself for French club Monaco. Kemba Walker

So he said the international experiment was the right move.

“I wanted to have a new experience. I wanted to try to experience the world,” Walker said on The Crossover podcast with Joe Arlauckas. “And it’s really been an easy adjustment. These guys welcomed me with open arms, treated me with a lot of respect. Just really made my transition super easy.”

Walker last played in the NBA last season, with the Dallas Mavericks, before being waived in earl January, just before his contract was set to become guaranteed. A lot of people say knee injuries robbed him of his explosiveness, but he sure looked good for much of his run with Dallas. That included a 32-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in December.

He could make a return to the NBA and playing with Monaco could serve as an audition. For now, though, it’s clearly what works for him.

“As someone coming from the States to be here for the first time for quite some time, all you can ask for is to be welcomed in the right way,” he said. “And that is something that I appreciate a lot from my teammates. These guys are some of the best teammates I’ve ever had. These guys are amazing, I love being around these guys every day. I appreciate every morning knowing that I am coming to practice with these guys… They make it fun.”

Walker is playing alongside guard Mike James, another NBA free agent on the Monaco roster.

“He’s a bucket,” Walker said. “He’s really fun to watch. He’s made it easy for me as well. The dudes have been great.”

Walker, 33, is 6-foot-0 and won a national championship at Connecticut in 2011. He was then selected by Charlotte, then known as the Bobcats, with the No. 9 overall pick in the draft. He went on to be a four-time All-Star with career averages of 19.3 points and 5.3 assists in 750 career games.

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