Ex-NBA star Kemba Walker admits that European crowds are exactly what ‘everybody told me it would be’


Once a Hornets legend, Kemba Walker struggled returning back to the NBA courts after months of lingering injuries and delayed recoveries. After not receiving a worthy offer to play again in the league, the 33-year-old decided to accept an opportunity to take his game to Europe and sign for AS Monaco. 

After months of training in France, the 12-year career veteran finally got to play his first game in the EuroLeague and begin this new chapter of his life.

In only ten minutes of play, the former NBA star missed all three of his field goal attempts against Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade, but finally was able to open his points account in Europe with a couple of free throws.

“It was amazing. It was everything that everybody told me it would be. The fans were great, I really appreciate seeing that,” Kemba said after the match. “I thought we made it tough on everybody, especially in the fourth. Those guys are really good, they just didn’t make shots on the stretch.”

As many international stars have pointed out in the past, the basketball sport between Europe and the United States have many differences. The court is smaller, the game is more physical, the rules are based on FIBA regulations, etc.

“I don’t know yet,” he said about when he’ll feel adjusted to European basketball. “It’s going to take some time for me to get some rhythm. I have to get myself in the game rhythm. But still, like I said, I had a lot of fun, I had fun in the short minutes I played.

“My whole thing is to get myself in the rhythm so I can help my team more.”

The veteran guard reveals reasons why he believes European basketball is a ‘great experience’ for NBA players

Even though Kemba finally made his debut, he’s still not the All-Star player we all remember. This is why Monaco is taking many considerations and extra precautions to not hurry his recovery. When asked about when he expects to be at full strength, the player was unsure.

“I’m not sure yet. Hopefully, I can get there,” Walker shared. “Hopefully, I can just contribute, that’s all I’m worried about. I want to be able to help this team more, that’s my main focus.”

In the video above, check out the behind the scenes of the 33-year-old’s first official match wearing the AS Monaco jersey:

As many NBA players were signed during the summer and have decided to try their luck in Europe this year, Kemba admitted he now understands why playing there is a recommended experience.

“It’s a great experience. A crowd like this is not something that we would experience on any other level besides college. I’m happy I’m here, and I’m happy I made the choice to be a part of this club,” Walker concluded.

Just to name a few, Willy Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, Willy Cauler-Stein and Jahlil Okafor all made their ways across the Atlantic Ocean to continue their careers.