Charlotte Hornets’ All-Time Greatest Players

Retiring Point Guard Kemba Walker Represents
Franchise’s Best Tenure/Production Combination
(And Now He’s Back In Charlotte In A Coaching Role)

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

Kemba Walker, who announced his retirement as a professional basketball player Tuesday via his social media accounts, is arguably the greatest player in Charlotte Hornets history.

Charlotte’s first-round draft pick (ninth overall) in 2011, soon after he led UConn to the national championship and was named the NCAA Tournament’s most outstanding player, Walker played eight of his 12 National Basketball Association seasons with the Hornets. During that time, he became one of the franchise’s few players ever to earn a variety of the league’s highest individual honors.

In each of his final three seasons (2016-17 through 2018-19) in the Queen City, Walker played in the NBA All-Star Game. In 2017 and 2018, he also received the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award, which goes to the player who most “exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play and integrity.” In 2019, he became one of the few Hornets ever to be voted onto an All-NBA squad, earning third-team honors.

Although Walker left Charlotte for Boston via free agency after the 2018-19 season, he remains the Hornets’ all-time leader in games played (701), minutes played (20,607), points scored (12,009), 3-pointers made (1,283) and attempted (3,589), free throws made (2,398) and attempted (2,871), win shares (48.5) and value over replacement player (24.8).

The Hornets’ full-time starter at point guard in all but his rookie season (when he started just 25 times), Walker also remains second in franchise history in assists (3,308), behind only Muggsy Bogues, and third in steals (799), behind only Bogues and Gerald Wallace.

Walker also was a key member of the Hornets’ best team of the past 20-plus years, their 2015-16 squad, which finished 48-34 during the regular season and pushed the Miami Heat to seven games in their first-round playoff series.

Charlotte hasn’t been back to the postseason since.

After two seasons with Boston, one with New York and one with Dallas, Walker played the 2023-24 campaign in France’s top professional league. His team, AS Monaco, captured the league championship in June.

When first-year Charlotte head coach Charles Lee recently finalized his staff for the upcoming 2024-25 season, Walker was listed as a “player enhancement coach” for the Hornets.

Charlotte Hornets All-Time Greatest Players

First Team (Tenure With Charlotte Franchise)

PG — Kemba Walker (2011-12 through 2018-19)

(8 seasons in Charlotte, 3x NBA All-Star, All-NBA Third Team in 2019, #1 scorer in franchise history with 12,009 points, #1 in minutes played, #1 in 3-pointers made and attempted, #1 in free throws made and attempted, #1 in win shares, #1 in value over replacement player, #2 in assists, #3 in steals, #3 in games played, #6 in assists per game, #6 in points per game)

F — Glen Rice (1995-96 through 1997-98)

(3 seasons in Charlotte, 3x NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second Team in 1997, All-NBA Third Team in 1998, #1 in points per game in franchise history with 23.5, #3 in 3-point field goal percentage, #5 in free throw percentage, #6 in points, #8 in win shares, #8 in value over replacement player, #9 in field goals made)

F — Gerald Wallace (2004-05 through 2010-11)

(7 seasons in Charlotte, 1x NBA All-Star, NBA steals leader in 2006, NBA All-Defense first team in 2010, #2 in win shares in franchise history, #2 in steals, #2 in free throws made and attempted, #2 in value over replacement player, #3 in rebounds, #3 in points, #3 in steals per game, #4 in blocks, #4 in field goals made and attempted, #4 in minutes played, #6 in games played, #8 in blocks per game)

F — Larry Johnson (1991-92 through 1995-96)

(5 seasons in Charlotte, 2x NBA All-Star, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1992, All-NBA Second Team in 1993, #1 in offensive rebounds in franchise history with 1,186, #2 in rebounds, #3 in field goals made and attempted, #3 in free throws made and attempted, #4 in points, #4 in value over replacement player, #4 in win shares, #5 in minutes played, #5 in rebounds per game, #6 in assists, #8 in points per game)

C — Alonzo Mourning (1992-93 through 1994-95)

(3 seasons in Charlotte, 2x All-Star, #1 in blocks in franchise history with 684, #1 in blocks per game, #2 in points per game, #2 in rebounds per game, #4 in free throws made and attempted, #7 in offensive rebounds, #10 in rebounds)

Second Team

PG Muggsy Bogues
G Dell Curry
G David Wesley
F Anthony Mason
C Emeka Okafor

Other All-Time Greats (3 or more seasons with franchise):

PG Baron Davis
PG Raymond Felton
G Terry Rozier
F Marvin Williams
C Al Jefferson
C Cody Zeller

NOTE: Vlade Divac, Hersey Hawkins, Eddie Jones, Jamal Mashburn, Robert Parish and other highly decorated players spent two or fewer seasons in Charlotte.