Kemba Walker retires after 12 seasons in the NBA: ‘I’m excited for what’s next’

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The time has finally come for Kemba Walker to walk away from professional basketball, as this Tuesday he announced that his calling it a career. After 12 seasons in the NBA, the veteran star posted on social media that he’s moving on from the sport and is even “excited” for what lies ahead in this next stage of his life. 

The Bronx native had been playing this past campaign for French team AS Monaco, but wasn’t able to perform as well as he used to. The 34-year-old seems to have come to terms with his reality and thanked everyone who has supported him during his time as an athlete.

“This has all been a dream,” the four-time NBA All-Star said in a statement he posted on social media. “When I look back, I still can’t believe the things I achieved in my career.”

Walker is convinced he would’ve not been able to achieve success without the people around him. “I know I couldn’t have made it to this point without my incredible support system around me.

“There are so many people to thank — my mom, dad and entire family, my teammates who have become family, and the coaches who believed in me and brought out the best in me,” he wrote. “Basketball will forever be a part of my life so this isn’t goodbye. I’m excited for what’s next.”

Unfortunately for the guard, he saw his career derailed by injuries in the past several campaigns, including his 37-match season for the Knicks two years ago. He signed with the Mavericks on November 2022 but was waived three months later in January after playing 9 contests for Dallas.

After ending his NBA career with 19.3 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per match, he decided to try out European basketball, knowing he would probably never return. “I’m not certain. I mean, the NBA is obviously the main goal, but I’ve played there for many years,” he said last year. “For now, I’m solely focused on my new adventure, this experience that awaits me with the new life I’m going to have.

“I’m so excited and eager to seize this opportunity in Monaco. I can’t wait to explore the city and meet the people, my teammates, the staff, and everything surrounding the club. We’re going to have some great moments. Can’t wait for it to begin.”

Despite not excelling in Europe, he revealed that he experienced many great moments in his final basketball season playing for AS Monaco

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 last year. Despite calling it quits after a lone campaign, he recognized how much he enjoyed this experience.

“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 his first match in Europe. “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 had 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.”