Charlotte, NC - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was very emotional Wednesday afternoon after signing a 4-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Charlotte Hornets
“It's very emotional, and it's very humbling because I know where I came from,” said The Hornets small forward. “I had everything I wanted to growing up but this feeling is unreal."
The 21-year old said he had no intentions of entering free agency at the end of his previous contract because Charlotte is where he wants to be.
“I’m learning from the best,” said Kidd-Gilchrist. “I don’t want to do it for the options, for the money, this is where I want to be.”
The Kentucky product also said teammate Kemba Walker is a big reason why he wanted to stay with the Hornets.
“We push each other, even when we’re sick or hurting or just out of it, we always say fight through, push through,” said Kidd-Gilchrist. “I push him and vice versa, he pushes me. That’s the reason why I want to be in Charlotte, is him.”
Kidd-Gilchrist was drafted by the Hornets in 2012. He averaged a career best 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. However the defensive side of the ball is where he really makes his mark.
“We feel like MKG is really just scratching the surface of what his is as a player,” said General Manager Rich Cho. “At just 21-years old, he’s one of the best wing defenders in the league. He’s one of the best rebounders at his position."
“He’s getting better and better really by the month and if you look at the numbers, when he’s on the floor we play well, and when he’s not we don’t.”
The Hornets open their season Wednesday, October 28th at Miami.