For everyone that like's Mike.


Brown likes what he sees in Bobcats

Michael Jordan overlooked the last stop on Larry Brown’s well-worn résumé in April when he hired Brown to coach the struggling Charlotte Bobcats.

Brown’s forgettable 23-59 season in 2005-06 with the New York Knicks can’t overshadow a Hall of Fame career that includes 1,239 professional victories and an NBA title.

Likewise, Brown isn’t real concerned with the Bobcats’ lack of success in their four-year history.

“I just want us to understand what our goals and priorities are and build on that,” Brown said Tuesday as the Bobcats opened training camp in Trask Coliseum. “I think if we get better

every day and play hard and we’re in great shape, if we rebound and defend we’ll be productive.”

Charlotte improved its win total from 18 to 26 to 33 in its first three seasons, but took a step backward in 2007-08, struggling to a 32-50 mark. Rookie coach Sam Vincent was fired after the season, and Jordan called the 68-year-old Brown, who has rarely remained in the same place very long during a 34-year career but says this is his final stop.

The returning Bobcats say he’s brought energy and excitement to Charlotte, and Brown detects it in his team. Since Labor Day, most of the players have shown at the team’s practice facility on a regular basis to play pickup games and work out on their own.

This is point guard Raymond Felton’s fifth head coach in seven seasons of college and pro basketball, and Brown has a reputation for holding his floor generals to a high standard. Still, Felton sounds confident that Brown is exactly who the Bobcats needed in charge.

“I’m a student of the game so I try to learn from everybody, every coach that I have … and with Coach Brown I think he’s going to be the one to take me over the peak, take my play to the next level, take this team to the next level,” Felton said.

Center Emeka Okafor agrees. He, Felton, Jason Richardson and Gerald Wallace give the Bobcats a strong nucleus of young, talented players. If Sean May shakes off two seasons lost to injury and becomes a productive power forward, could an additional 12 or 15 wins, and the playoffs, be within reach?

Okafor said so Monday at the team’s media day.

Brown isn’t going there just yet. He knows the Eastern Conference grew stronger this off-season. He’s concerned with the team’s inexperience and lack of frontcourt depth and thinks rebounding could be a problem.

But he’s rejuvenated, tanned and fit, impressed with the character of Felton, Richardson and Wallace and prepared to let them lead on the court and in the locker room.

“These are good guys. When Michael gave me the job, he told me we had good guys and I have not been disappointed at all,” Brown said “The three guys are gym rats, which I love, and I asked them please just to allow me to coach.”

Thank Brian Mull of for the story.

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