CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan issued his first public statement Monday following the news that three-time All-Star Kemba Walker will leave the Hornets to join the Boston Celtics. 

In a statement released by the Hornets, Jordan thanked Walker for eight incredible seasons and how he represented the franchise both on and off course. 

“On behalf of the entire Hornets organization, I want to thank Kemba for eight incredible seasons with our franchise. He always represented the Hornets, the NBA and the city of Charlotte with class – both on the court and in the community – and we are disappointed he is leaving. He’s a special player, with a tremendous heart and tireless work ethic. Kemba is truly one of the best to ever play for our team. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

Walker is expected to a sign a four-year deal with Boston as a free agent. The deal is reportedly worth about $140 million. In an interview with ESPN Sunday, Walker said the decision to leave the Hornets was about making a deep playoff run, something Charlotte was unable to do during his tenure. 

Walker also wrote a letter to Charlotte's fans and organization, thanking them for everything in his career. 

"This place is special. And while this summer was the right time for me to part ways, and move on to another phase in my career — it’s taking nothing away from the Hornets as a fan base or as a franchise," Walker wrote. 

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