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Kemba Walker Can't Get Any NBA Love

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 15:  Teammates Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Bobcats and Gerald Henderson #9 sit dejected on the bench during their game against the Indiana Pacers at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

Rodney Dangerfield would be able to relate to Kemba Walker is feeling right now.

The Charlotte Bobcats sophomore has amassed some impressive statistics, tallying 17.5 points, 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Even with Walker's success, though, he still can't get no respect.

But his uncontrollable enthusiasm for the sport is evident every time he steps foot on the NBA hardwood.

Walker has landed several endorsement deals, despite playing for a franchise with just one playoff appearance and zero playoff series victories in its eight-year existence. He didn't even rely on his megastar owner, Michael Jordan, for assistance; in fact, he secured support from one of Jordan's competitors (via Ryan Sharrow of Sporting News).

 

First Kemba Walker goes undrafted in Rising Stars Draft and now TNT puts a picture of Reggie Williams above his name? twitter.com/TheJohnnyMalon…

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 8, 2013

 

The fact that Walker fell to the final four blind draws of the Rising Stars Challenge draft on February 7 was painstakingly confounding. Not only had he compiled the third-highest scoring average of any of the 20 players available; he'd even outscored every one of Team Chuck's 10 players.

Despite not being present for the draft, Walker somehow embodied that awkward green room invitee selected well after the rest of the room's been emptied.

By the end of the night, though, that was the least of his slights.

Seeing the face of Reggie Williams (4.2 points, 9.7 rebounds per game) plastered above Walker's name was like searching for Walker's highlight reel and getting "Scalabrined" in the process.

What might appear an honest mistake to some carried some additional weight, given the way Walker's NBA career has been appreciated from a distance, if at all. He was too small to play at this level, lacking in explosiveness and natural point guard skills.

Despite putting forth a Most Improved Player of the Year effort, he's still getting overlooked.

But that doesn't have to be the case.

If you look hard enough beyond the Bobcats' 18-96 record over the last two seasons, you might just find the NBA's next budding superstar.

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