Michael Jordan Wanted Kemba Walker To ‘Elevate’ His Game By Playing The Way He Did In College

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Advice is only as good as the person giving it. So when one of the greatest basketball players of all time gives you advice do you discard it or run with it?

Charlotte Hornets all-everything Kemba Walker spent his rookie season on the statistical worst team ever to play the game, the 7-59 Charlotte Bobcats. Being a rookie and having that be your first experience in the NBA would rattle anyone’s confidence, even if the team is obviously tanking for the future

So who better than Michael Jordan, owner of the-now Charlotte Hornets to give some advice to Walker to keep his head in the game? After all, Jordan had used a transcendent-yet-brief career in college to become a superstar in the NBA.

Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report wrote a lengthy profile of Walker and his upcoming free agency decision. In it, he revealed the advice that Jordan gave him his rookie season. And the advice was simple enough: Walker needed to be himself, and use how he performed in college to “elevate” his game in the NBA despite a down season for the team.

“He kind of told me just to be myself, basically,” Walker said. “Told me he drafted me for a reason and he could see what I was doing. He didn’t want that. He wanted me to elevate my game someway, somehow. Continue to get better, but he wanted me to be myself. Play the way that I played in college.”

The advice clearly worked, as Walker maintained the killer instinct that he had in college. Jordan’s advice also bore fruit later in his career, as Walker has been one of the better guards in the NBA shooting from beyond the arc. Walker went from shooting 30% in his rookie season to shooting 38% this season, something no one really saw coming in his career development.

So the next time your boss gives you advice on the job, it might be worth taking that advice. That said, not everyone’s boss is a Hall-of-Famer, so the results may vary.