Charlotte Hornets

What it will take for Kemba Walker to be an All-Star starter in Charlotte

Hornets Kemba Walker: We have to have some pride within ourselves

The Charlotte Hornets lost to the Dallas Mavericks 122-84 on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Guard Kemba Walker said, "we have to have some pride within ourselves."
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The Charlotte Hornets lost to the Dallas Mavericks 122-84 on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Guard Kemba Walker said, "we have to have some pride within ourselves."

Hornets guard Kemba Walker is on the outside of being an All-Star Game starter in Charlotte next month, based on a running tally of fan votes the NBA announced Thursday.

Walker, a reserve in the last two All-Star Games, is currently third in Eastern Conference fan voting among guards behind the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade. Fan voting counts 50 percent toward deciding the five starting spots from each conference. Voting among current players counts 25 percent and votes from media covering the NBA counts the other 25 percent.

Starter spots for the Feb. 17 game at Spectrum Center will be announced the night of Jan. 24 on TNT. All-Star reserves, decided by a vote of the league’s head coaches, will be announced Jan. 31.

Irving is by far the leader among East guards with 2,381,901 fan votes. Wade, a 10-time All-Star starter who plans to retire after this season, has 1,199,789 votes.

Walker is third among East guards with 858,798 votes, ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons with 695,032.

Walker is tied for 11th in the NBA in scoring at 25.1 points per game, along with Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin.

The All-Star weekend returns to Charlotte for the second time in the city’s 30-year history in the league. The 1991 game was held at the Charlotte Coliseum on Tyvola Road.

Rick Bonnell is a sportswriter/columnist for the Charlotte Observer. He has been in Charlotte since 1988, when the NBA arrived, and has covered the Hornets continuously. A former president of the Pro Basketball Writers Association, Bonnell also writes occasionally on the NFL and college sports.

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