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February 16, 2019

Kemba Walker

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. How does it feel to compete here in Charlotte?
KEMBA WALKER: It feels good to compete here in Charlotte. Obviously, my team is here and stuff like that, so I'm excited to represent this organization and represent the city.

Q. How have things been as far as you've had a better round and digesting everything. You've had a lot of events. How have things been going?
KEMBA WALKER: Things have been going well. A lot of traffic. But it's been going well, man. No complaints. I'm just trying to enjoy every moment, trying to embrace every moment, trying to enjoy myself. But, yeah, so far, so good.

Q. I know when we were talking, you said the whole city, you've been getting a lot of questions from guys. How many things have you been fielding on Charlotte?
KEMBA WALKER: None, not yet. I haven't really seen guys as much, though. Yeah, I haven't given out any info. Nobody's asked me for anything yet. I think everybody's got things set. I think guys can ask Steph as well, so I'm not the only one.

Q. The All-Star Game is on Michael Jordan's birthday. If you were to get Michael Jordan a gift?
KEMBA WALKER: If I were to give him a gift? What do you get a man who has everything in the world? I'd get him a card. I'd get him a "thank you" card. That's what I would get him?

Q. What would you say?
KEMBA WALKER: I would say thank you for everything that he's helped me with. Thank you for the opportunity. And happy birthday.

Q. Would you like to be an NBA owner some day?

Q. Why is that? Too stressful?
KEMBA WALKER: No, that's just not me. When I'm done with basketball, I don't know. Ownership is something I'm going to stay away from.

Q. We know how important this city is to you? How much does it mean to you to see the All-Star Game here?
KEMBA WALKER: It's been amazing, man. The fan support, it's been A-1, just like how it is each and every day for me here. But, yeah, the city is embracing this opportunity, and I'm happy we are able to get this event here. I think we deserved it. Yeah, it's been fun.

Q. I talked to Devin Booker just a second ago, and he said you're the guy to beat?

Q. What does that mean to you?
KEMBA WALKER: I'm surprised about that. Maybe he probably thinks that because I'm home. I guess that means a lot. I'm just going to go out there and compete, really just enjoy it. I'm able to shoot against some of the best three-point shooters in the world.

Q. What does that mean to you right there (crowd cheering)?
KEMBA WALKER: It's crazy.

Q. Can you talk about how special it is to play for Team Giannis and have the fans be rooting for you guys?
KEMBA WALKER: Yeah, it's special. I think it will be -- I feel like we've got a lot of underdogs, I feel like. I feel like everybody is already counting us out, but you know, we're going to go out there, we're going to compete, and we're going to try to win that game.

Q. Are you going to try to steal the show?
KEMBA WALKER: I'm just going to go out there and have fun, man. I know everybody expects me to go out there and steal the show, but I'm just going to have fun.

Q. Does this make you smile?
KEMBA WALKER: I smile all the time. It's definitely one of the highlights in my career to be a starter in Charlotte for the organization I've been with for the last eight years. It's truly a blessing for sure.

Q. They'd like to see you win the MVP.
KEMBA WALKER: I'm going to try to do what I could. Three-point contest, I'm going to go out there and enjoy, going to compete for sure. In the game, I'm going to do the same. I'm going to enjoy it, but I'm definitely going to compete. I'm going to go out there and try to get a win and put on a show for the fans.

Q. Can Dirk finish the contest?
KEMBA WALKER: Dirk is definitely going to finish. He's done this before. He's no stranger.

Q. What did it take for you to get here growing up?
KEMBA WALKER: It took a lot, man. A lot of work, a lot of ups and downs, but a lot of hours in the gym. Like I said, man, a lot of rough times. But that's what it takes to get to this level. I worked hard, man, and hard work paid off.

Q. (Inaudible).
KEMBA WALKER: It was amazing, man. That's where it started for me, at the Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. It was an amazing experience. I got a chance to go there after school, do homework, and play basketball, swim, play pool, a bunch of stuff. It was an amazing experience for me.

Q. What's your favorite NCAA Tournament memory?
KEMBA WALKER: My favorite NCAA Tournament memory has to be my junior year when we played against Pittsburgh. I had the game winner in the quarterfinals. It was in the Garden. That was my first time beating Pittsburgh in my career. So, yeah, that's easily one of my favorites.

Q. What is your opinion of Duke?
KEMBA WALKER: Oh, you mean the team right now? Oh, man, scary. It's scary. That team is unbelievable. The talent they have with Zion and R.J. and Cam. Yeah, it's scary.

Q. What are you excited about this weekend?
KEMBA WALKER: It's amazing, man. It's amazing. I'm excited for the fans, the fans getting the opportunity to see not only me, but guys like Giannis and Steph and LeBron, Paul George and those guys, just to name a few. That's what I'm most excited about.

Q. I was wondering, did you take dance classes when you were younger? You're so shifty. Those feet. How did you learn to be so stop and go? Did you take dance classes when you were younger?
KEMBA WALKER: I did actually.

Q. I knew it. From one dancer to another.
KEMBA WALKER: Thank you.

Q. What are your memorable moments of Wade and Dirk?
KEMBA WALKER: Of course D-Wade, when he won that championship, man. He was incredible. He was incredible. Then I have another memory against us, which wasn't so great: A few years back, Game 6 here at home, he hit two huge three-pointers against us, sent us home. It was sad, but whenever you get a chance to witness greatness, you have to accept that.

And Dirk, he's had an unbelievable career, especially from when he was young. Everybody didn't think he was so good, and the way he kept going. He kept going.

I'm happy for those guys. I'm happy that Adam Silver allowed those guys to get their chance, their last All-Star Game. That's truly a blessing, for sure.

Q. The players that are in from out of town, what did you tell them to do in Charlotte? What are some of the top things you told them?
KEMBA WALKER: Nobody asked me yet. I didn't tell anybody anything yet. I'm just waiting for somebody to ask me.

Q. What would you tell them?
KEMBA WALKER: I'm going to tell them to go to this Japanese steakhouse called Nakato. That's my spot. I would tell them to go out there and get some good food.

Q. What are your thoughts of the All-Star Game being here in Charlotte?
KEMBA WALKER: It's amazing. I'm happy everyone is here. I'm really happy to be home. Welcome everybody into this city. Everybody's getting a chance to see it. I'm getting a lot of good feedback about the city. That's what I like to hear. A lot of guys telling me, "This is my first time in Charlotte. I didn't know how cool it was." So I'm really excited to hear that.

Q. Kemba, can you just talk about the opportunity to make the playoffs this year?
KEMBA WALKER: It's going to be tough. It's going to be tough, but hopefully my teammates are out getting some rest right now. When this thing is over, we're going to have to make a strong, strong, strong push. We've got a pretty tough schedule to end the season, but I think we're capable of it.

Q. Kemba, with the Jr. NBA World Championships coming up, what would it have meant to you to have that opportunity as a kid?
KEMBA WALKER: It would have meant a lot to be part of the Jr. NBA when I was a kid. I'm super excited for kids now to be able to have that opportunity. Good luck to everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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