Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte Observer’

Jordan Calls Pera Challenge ‘Comical’

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan offered an appropriate response for a laughable challenge from Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera, who wanted to challenge arguably the greatest player of all-time to a game of one-on-one for charity.

Jordan dismissed Pera’s Twitter antics by laughing at his fellow owner.

“I think that’s comical,” Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. “It didn’t make any sense. Why would I play one one-on-one? It’s a no-win situation for me no matter what.”

Pera issued his challenge Monday night, accompanied by a video (above) showing off his on-court prowess:

Jordan let it simmer for a while before brushing Pera aside. Pera’s intentions were most noble, he was trying to raise $1 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Trying to do it at the expense of a fellow owner who also happens to be a Hall of Fame player and considered by many the greatest player in NBA history, didn’t win him any points with Jordan’s legion of fans and admirers.

Jordan’s response was certainly appropriate. He didn’t take the bait from Pera, who at 35 is 15 years younger than Jordan. He didn’t allow himself to be distracted from his most pressing concerns, which revolve around reviving a Bobcats franchise that is breaking in yet another new coach, Steve Clifford, and several new faces, including veteran big man Al Jefferson and rookie 7-footer Cody Zeller.

Jordan told the Observer that he is pleased with the progress he’s seen on all fronts:

“I’m so happy about Steve. He’s a very professional guy. Professional in a way that the players can respond. He’s worked with some very good programs. I’ve watched him with the players. He has the right patience and rapport – he knows how to position himself with the players.

“That’s a big move for us because no matter how we spend on players, it starts with the coach. I’m not putting down (predecessor) Mike Dunlap. He had some of the same qualities.”

On Jefferson:

“Jefferson is a great addition. He’s been asked to be a leader on the basketball court. He’s never been asked to do that before. But he has some credence with our guys and I think they’ll respond.”

On Zeller:

“I love Zeller. To me, he’s a connector like (Josh) McRoberts, only more talented. He’ll make teammates better. He’s not flashy in what he does, but he’ll be a really solid player for us.”

If Pera wants a challenge he might be able to win, he’d should ask his Grizzlies to challenge Jordan’s Bobcats. But owner-on-owner, he’s a major underdog any way you slice it. (Here are a couple of reminders for you Mr. Pera!):

Still A Market For T-Mac, Iverson …

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Hall of Fame week always reminds us of a seemingly endless debate we have here at the hideout about the worthiness of some of the game’s current stars and whether or not they’ll one day end up in Springfield.

One of those stars we talk about often is Tracy McGrady, who at one point earlier in his career seemed like he would be a lock for the hallowed halls of the Naismith Memorial. That view isn’t quite as clear these days. The journeyman nature of his career the past few years has made the argument for McGrady a bit tougher.

The news that McGrady might be working out for the Charlotte Bobcats, courtesy of Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, who insists that the rumblings are strictly “informal and exploratory,” makes you wonder if there really is still a viable market for faded stars of his ilk?

Unlike some others from his generation, injuries and various other issues have prevented McGrady from settling into the twilight of his career as a franchise staple.

Reports that Allen Iverson is considering a move to China to play if he can’t find a team in the NBA willing to give him look is another reminder that not every superstar career has a fairy tale ending.

Iverson, who has already played in Turkey, has perhaps the best perspective and understanding of how dramatically things can change from highest of highs for some NBA superstars to the long road back to the league once you’ve lost your way. He’s desperate for another shot and is willing to go the other side of the world to play if he can’t find a place here, as this Netease Sports report (translated)  makes clear:

“I definitely want to return to the NBA, but if I can’t get back there, I’m hoping to play ball here (in China).  China is still one of my choices, but the team that wants me to join has got to show me that they really mean it, like ‘Hey, we really need you.'”

Makes you wonder if there is any NBA team out there willing to say the same about either McGrady or Iverson?

The Bobcats’ Scouting Edge

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — In the seemingly endless search for an edge in the Draft process, teams are willing to go to great lengths to find theirs.

The Charlotte Bobcats, whose draft missteps of the recent past have been well documented (Sean May, Adam Morrison, etc.), have come up with a remedy for what has ailed them over the years. And they’ve found it in an original system designed by general manager Rich Cho, whose cutting-edge system has helped Michael Jordan‘s Bobcats completely rework their scouting process.

The first real chance the Bobcats will have to test it out comes Thursday night, when they’ll use it to assist them when they have the No. 2 pick (and No. 31, the first pick in the second round). Cho’s system involves a radically different approach to what the league is used to, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer details:

Cho’s system has all the basics you’d expect: Player contracts, statistics that can be used to compare Bobcats players’ development to others’, any potential bonuses that could complicate trade discussions. But beyond that, this is a function of Cho’s self-description as “a big information hound.”

Call it nosey if you like. To Cho, it’s being forewarned. You can see both the engineer and the lawyer in Cho’s concept.