Tom Sorensen

Short takes: On Kemba as a shooter, an Uptown scooter, and being a LeBron disputer

New Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego (right, conferring with point guard Kemba Walker) says he’ll demand quick, decisive ball-movement from his new team. Last season, the Hornets were just 24th among 30 NBA teams in average assists.
New Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego (right, conferring with point guard Kemba Walker) says he’ll demand quick, decisive ball-movement from his new team. Last season, the Hornets were just 24th among 30 NBA teams in average assists. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

On the practice court of the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday is Kemba Walker. Walker, 28, is in his prime as a player. He also is in the final season of a contract that renders absolutely underpaid.

If the Hornets decide that they have to start over, then they have to trade Walker. They have no choice. But, man, what a loss that would be for fans of Charlotte the team and the town. Walker is as fine a representative in all matters off the court as any fan could ask.

On Tuesday, he stands on the free throw line and talks to coach James Borrego. They laugh. In mid conversation, and seemingly without looking, he puts up a shot.

If general manager Mitch Kupchak is accurate, and the Hornets are close to being competitive, they get to keep Kemba Walker. That shot that Walker takes as he talks to his coach? The ball goes in. It goes in in such a way that there’s nothing else it possibly could do. What would you expect? …

I saw two dressed up guys on motorized scooters on South Caldwell Street. The lead guy went into a sudden dip in the sidewalk and flew up the other side, smiling as he turned around to look at his friend. I slowed down and clapped, and the guy laughed.

Charlotte has grown so fast that once empty sidewalks are now crammed with a variety of people moving at a variety of speeds. It’s unlikely to end well. But what the guy did, on an otherwise empty sidewalk, was pretty cool. It looked like freedom. …

Love Ryan Simpson’s illustration for ESPN’s Courting the King project. Amidst our skyscrapers is LeBron, wearing his crown. Queen is crossed off; we’re the King City.

We will be when he comes to Charlotte. And he will come – every time his team is in town to play. …

I understand the allure of ESPN’s the Body Issue. But I want diversity. I want NFL guards. I want sumo wrestlers. I want sportswriters. Or, you know, keep it the way it is. …

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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