For all we know, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan may have finally gotten it right with the surprising hiring of St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap as coach on Monday.
Of all the facets of the Oklahoma City blueprint that Bobcats general manager Rich Cho hoped to follow, landing the No. 2 pick in the draft wasn't one of them.
As if the NBA playoffs and lead-up to the June 28 draft weren't enough to keep hoops fans satiated this time of year, there's a number of personnel positions in play that are worth monitoring.
When the NBA Draft lottery balls came bouncing down in 2007, then-Seattle assistant general manager Rich Cho was standing next to then-Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard inside the Madison Square Garden room where the fates of two franchises were being determined.
This is the time of the year when NBA executives may get a little religious, praying that the ping pong balls in Wednesday's NBA draft lottery fall in their favor.
Make that two clocks that are ticking loudly now for the embattled Michael Jordan.
Watching the Charlotte Bobcats stumble around the court this year may make the casual fan wonder who is running this beleaguered organization.
Riding the bus back from the Bobcats' shootaround in Orlando Tuesday, Kemba Walker sounded markedly glum. He was reflecting on his rookie season in Charlotte -- one in which he averaged 12.1 points, 4.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds -- and spoke tersely about what he'll remember most from his first-year experience.
Like many sports teams, the Charlotte Bobcats are caught in an argument between haters and homers. One group thinks the Bobcats are one of the worst teams in NBA history. Those are the homers. The haters think the Bobcats have been losing on purpose so they can get the No. 1 pick in the draft. The homers say "No, that's not fair. They really do suck this bad. They're not trying to suck; they just suck at trying."
Veteran small forward Jamario Moon has signed with Charlotte through the end of the season, sources told SI.com.
BOSTON -- In the perverted world of a rebuilding NBA team, injuries bring forth promise. And dumping expensive talent creates hope.
When Paul Silas took over as the Bobcats' head coach in December, he inherited a 9-19 team with a broken point guard (D.J. Augustin), a surly shooting guard (Stephen Jackson) and a roster of players who had chafed under the heavy-handed coaching of Larry Brown. Undaunted, Silas installed a more up-tempo offense, empowered Augustin and rebuilt the confidence of role players like Gerald Henderson and Kwame Brown by urging them to shoot whenever -- and wherever -- they were open. The result was an 11-6 start to the Silas Era and a renewed optimism in the locker room.
In a three-day span, 2011 All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams were traded from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference; the East-leading Celtics dealt their starting center, well-regarded workhorse Kendrick Perkins; and former All-Stars Gerald Wallace (from Charlotte to Portland) and Baron Davis (from the Clippers to Cleveland) and reigning Most Improved Player Aaron Brooks (from Houston to Phoenix) were sent packing.
There hasn't been a lot of trade talk -- apart from the just-completed 'Melo-drama -- because of uncertainty about the next collective bargaining agreement. Many GMs are reticent to gamble in normal times, but in this pre-lockout climate they can't be sure how the new CBA will affect their business. The last thing they want to do is make a major move that turns out to have an unexpectedly negative impact next year, especially with every owner watching finances so closely amid the negotiations with the players union.
The abrupt departure Wednesday of Larry Brown as coach of the Bobcats had been brewing since last summer, according to multiple league sources. Brown was unhappy with the cost-cutting trade that packaged center Tyson Chandler to Dallas for the non-guaranteed contract of Erick Dampier, who was then waived by Charlotte.
The Orlando Magic didn't beat the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night so much as they suffocated them. Larry Brown's crew managed one field goal in the game's first nine minutes, had just 30 points at halftime and finished on the losing end of Orlando's wire-to-wire, 92-77 triumph. The Magic lead the series 2-0 heading to Charlotte for the next two games.
So like we were saying ... the top seeds are doing just fine, thank you.
Following the pattern that had been set by the two other teams regarded as their primary rivals for an NBA championship (the Cavs and Lakers) in their first-round openers, the Orlando Magic jumped out to a commanding lead and then held on down the stretch to defeat a tenacious lower seed--in this case the Charlotte Bobcats, who were playing in their first playoff game in franchise history.
Our annual review of money and how it has been spent on players finds a total of $2,108,698,855 obligated to 502 players -- some to contracts of six years, others to contracts of 10 days -- for an average of $4.2 million per player this season, according to official NBA payroll figures I viewed Monday. This amounts to a reduction of $35.6 million in player salaries since last season.
At first glance, Charlotte looks like a solid bet to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Bobcats are seventh in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Toronto, three games clear of ninth-place Chicago and a half-game behind Miami with 12 to play. Eight of those games are at home, where Charlotte is 25-8. And four of them are against teams in the bottom six of the NBA -- Washington, New Jersey, Minnesota and Philadelphia.
"I'd like to see some of those organization guys step out there and play." -- Michael Jordan, in his last season as a Chicago Bull.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Charlotte Bobcats starting center Nazr (NAH'-zee) Mohammed has sat out the latest practice because of lingering back spasms, but is hopeful to play against Cleveland.
You could make the argument that there has not been an All-Star like Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace in the last 20 years. And not because he is the first Bobcats player in franchise history to make the team.
There was no meeting. There was no late-night, clear-the-air session with his new teammates. For weeks, the Charlotte Bobcats, like the rest of us, had been tuned into the biggest soap opera in the NBA: Stephen Jackson versus the Golden State Warriors.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal has participated in shootaround is expected to play against Charlotte.
It usually takes at least 10 games before dysfunctional NBA franchises discover the wishful thinking of the offseason isn't going to pan out and belatedly begin scrambling the mix. In that sense, Memphis, Golden State and Charlotte were right on cue Monday with personnel moves that involved this young season's poster problem children, Allen Iverson and Stephen Jackson.
Rod Strickland. Mark Jackson. Chauncey Billups. Eric Snow. It seems every stop Larry Brown has made during his 25-year NBA coaching career he has been given a pretty good point guard. And it seems every time he has managed to make that point guard a little bit better.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nazr Mohammed rarely played late last season, yet even the little-used center got wrapped up in the energy that permeated the Bobcats for a brief time.
Of all the 7-foot gambles dotting the rosters as NBA teams prepare for training camp -- Shaquille O'Neal and Greg Oden among them -- the shrewdest risk was Charlotte's offseason acquisition of Tyson Chandler.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- After four years of seemingly never-ending knee and weight issues, Sean May faces an uncertain summer as an unrestricted free agent after the Charlotte Bobcats decided not to make a qualifying offer to their former first-round pick.
SI.com NBA writers analyze the latest news and address hot topics from around the league each week. (All records are through Tuesday.)
Midterm grades are the halftime speeches of the educational world, way more important for motivation than evaluation and with a shelf life about as long as, oh, governmental transparency. Even the profs we used to seek out time and again -- y'know, the sort referred to as "Easy Ed'' or "All-A's Abramowitz'' -- would try to huff and puff eight weeks into a semester, sticking you with a lower grade than you might have expected. Yeah, yeah, we knew the drill: If we kicked butt late and aced the finals, we'd be fine.
SI.com will analyze each of the NBA's 30 teams as regular-season tip-off approaches. For a complete list of team-by-team breakdowns, click here. The information in the "Go figure" category below is provided by Roland Beech of 82games.com.
With the regular season now over, the NBA's lottery set can look forward to the prospect of hope, that the draft and free agency will bring better tidings next season. Before we let the Eastern Conference's also-rans disappear into the summer, let's take a final look at how they ended up where they are and what they plan to do about it.
Michael Jordan, the king of the comeback, is facing his toughest test of all.
The Portland Trail Blazers settled months of debate when they chose Greg Oden over Kevin Durant with the No. 1 pick in a highly anticipated NBA draft.
Meet Business 2.0 Magazine's contrarians, 11 business leaders who achieved success by zigging while the rest of the world zagged.
Also in this column: • Importance of the regular season? • Doc's extension a good move • NBA players help one of their own
The NBA coaching carousel has been stuck for a few weeks, but it might be about to start spinning again. The Raptors have begun discussions with coach Sam Mitchell, whose contract expires June 30, about a new deal. If the two sides can't reach an agreement, the Pacers, Bobcats and Grizzlies apparently intend to make their pitch to the 2007 Coach of the Year.
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Guard Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers and forward Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors headline the NBA All-Rookie Team, which was announced on Tuesday.
The NBA has released its list of early-entry candidates for the draft, and that means it's time to crunch some numbers.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The gallery stood a dozen rows deep and spilled down both sides of the fairway, the kind of scene Tiger Woods is used to seeing on the weekend at a major championship. This was only a pro-am round Wednesday at the Wachovia Championship.
The Charlotte Bobcats will interview former Cleveland Cavalier coach Paul Silas next week for their vacant head coaching position, a league source tells SI.com.
With apologies to John Lennon: Imagine there's no conference/It's easy if you try.... In such a world, NBA playoff teams would be seeded 1 through 16 without regard to conference affiliation, meaning that the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks could meet the Phoenix Suns or the San Antonio Spurs (the second and third seeds, respectively) for the NBA championship. In such a world, we would not have to concern ourselves with the likes of the New Jersey Nets and the Orlando Magic, the bottom-feeders of the (L)Eastern Conference bracket.
There was a time when a free-agent class that included Grant Hill, Chris Webber and Jerry Stackhouse would have caused the U.S. Mint to be put on notice, private jets to start warming up on the tarmac and NBA owners to forget all about that pesky luxury tax.
For all those angry Indiana Pacers fans who consider their team's 37-win pace to be an outright embarrassment this season, understand this: It really isn't much of a drop-off from what you should have expected. If you had higher expectations going into the season, then you were misguided.
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Two-time MVP Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs earned his first Player of the Week honor of the season. Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats has one more than that.
Also in this column: • Wizards at a loss without Butler • Chinese 7-footer the No. 3 pick? A lot of uncalled-for hot air is being exhaled on rumors that Billy Donovan will leave NCAA champion Florida to coach in the NBA. This much I can tell you: If an NBA team hires Donovan, it will mean that its owner either doesn't know what he's doing, or that he's infatuated by the short-term buzz generated by the hot college coach of the moment.
Other than Portland's Brandon Roy and Toronto's Andrea Bargnani, few rookies this season have generated much attention. Charlotte's Adam Morrison, Memphis' Rudy Gay and Minnesota's Randy Foye have had their moments, but mostly have been playing in the shadows. Then there are the unsung guys who have become key contributors to their teams, such as Toronto's Jorge Garbajosa (now out for the season with an ankle injury) and Utah's Paul Millsap.
Two league sources say that the search for Bernie Bickerstaff's successor in Charlotte is underway -- and one of the candidates is former Raptors coach Butch Carter.
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant, who is on the greatest scoring binge since Wilt Chamberlain, was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the second straight week.
There doesn't seem to be a shortage of candidates for the NBA's Most Improved Player award this season.
With March Madness upon us, the NBA is cracking down on loose-lipped team executives who can't help but talk about -- or to the families of -- Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, the likely top picks in this year's draft.
It's a long season, we wholly submit, and that's usually enough justification for the players who play the game and the media who cover it to lose their collective focus and concentrate on the flavors of the month that usually turn up in February, March and April. If that means scribes end up picking the team that finished with the best record down the stretch to win it all, fine -- nobody gets hurt with a semi-educated guess. But when deserving players are passed over for well-earned hardware, it's time to raise some hackles.
Also in this column: • One GM's hunch about Vince Carter • Joe Johnson's unusual shooting form • Clippers owner nixed a Maggette trade • Detroit's overlooked bench weapon
Also in this column: • Clippers suffer a big loss • Francis' season in jeopardy • More buyouts in the works?
As potential trades go, the best ones were either dehydrated, prostrate or about to have their plugs pulled. But with less than 24 hours to go, the Cleveland Cavaliers were making a final all-out attempt at reviving their candidate patient.
For the over-40 crowd, most stick 'n' ball athletes who once dominated their sports now find managing their only career option after rising to the pinnacle of their professions.
Many observers have attributed the Lakers' recent slump (they've lost 11 of their last 15 games) to the absence of do-it-all forward Luke Walton, and they're partially right. Walton's versatile play and ability to think on his feet in the triangle offense usually make life easy for both superstar and role player alike. The offense has taken a dive with Walton out -- the spacing isn't the same, the open looks aren't there as much and Walton's own long-range shooting touch (40 percent on threes this year) has been missed -- but these issues will likely resolve themselves once Walton returns sometime this month.
Miami Heat guard Gary Payton was suspended by the NBA for one game without pay for verbally abusing officials in Saturday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Miami Heat guard Gary Payton on Monday was suspended one game without pay by the NBA for his actions in Saturday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the NBA, the playoffs are the holy grail. Jobs are dangled based on whether a coach can guide his team into the postseason and whether a general manager has acquired the right talent to guarantee an owner at least two home playoff date. Failure to do so (repeatedly) usually results in firings and a major roster overhaul.
When Charlotte Bobcats forward Emeka Okafor leaps to block a layup, he often turns sideways, like a waiter navigating a crowded room, so that he can extend his right arm as far as possible. When he leaps to block a dunk, however, the 6'10", 252-pound Okafor tries to go straight up, the better to neutralize his opponent's momentum. Considering that a blocked dunk is one of the rarest feats in basketball -- at week's end there had been only 113 in 603 NBA games this season -- this is easier in theory than in practice.
If for some reason you ever find yourself amongst a gathering of particularly large NBA players and need to identify which ones are shot-blockers, look at their fingertips.
NBA stars are not strangers to the small screen -- just turn on SportsCenter and you'll find your favorite superstar in action. But for some players, an appearance on the highlight reel isn't enough.
Also in this column: • Who are the most-improved teams? • Development League filling a need • The next star from Argentina
A Secret Service officer arrested a former NBA player after gunshots were reported just blocks from the White House early Wednesday morning.
Dwyane Wade, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will spearhead the U.S. squad for the world basketball championships in Japan next month.
May 1, 2006
"My obit's already written," says Bob Johnson. "I can read it to you right now." He puts down his silverware. "Bob Johnson, the founder of BET, died yesterday. He was the first black billionaire, b...
The U.S. men's basketball team finally got a convincing victory at the Olympic tournament on Monday, trouncing winless Angola 89-53 in their final preliminary round Group B match.
National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday it would be good for the league if Michael Jordan were to become a franchise owner, and he believes it will happen sooner rather than later.
It may seem like an obvious question to ask. But when we went to ten of the country's best-known African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic business owners for their views on the changing role ...
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