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April 17, 2009

Brown on Okafor, Naz, and more

Candid to the end, Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown said at his post-season news conference Friday that he’d love for center Emeka Okafor to love basketball more.

As in, use the off-season to become a better player, not just a better-conditioned athlete.

“I always tease that he has an ‘A’ in stretching, Pilates and yoga. I’d like him to have an ‘A’ in basketball,’’ Brown said Friday.

Okafor is well-known for his post-game stretching regimens and off-season conditioning experiments. Brown said he’s impressed that Okafor hasn’t missed a game in two seasons. However, Brown and the front office would like Okafor to spend more of his summer fine-tuning basketball skills.

“He’s got to work at his game,’’ Brown described. “There’s no better guy than him. I want him to have a passion (for basketball) because it ends so quickly.’’

Brown suggested Okafor might over-think: “He analyzes everything he does. I think he’s just got to play.’’

Brown addressed numerous topics Friday.

On reserve center Nazr Mohammed wanting a larger role or to be traded: “I told him we tried to trade him, and we had some possibilities fall through. With Nazr’s contract, in these economic times, it’s not easy to move.’’

Mohammed makes about $6.47 million next season and $6.88 million the following season. He played in just eight of the team’s final 41 games, after the Bobcats acquired another center, DeSagana Diop, from the Dallas Mavericks.

Brown said of Mohammed, a 10-year veteran: “Of all the guys, I thought this was the most difficult season for him.’’

On attempting to retain director of player personnel Buzz Peterson: “I don’t want to speak for Buzz, but we need him. This is a good group of people (in the front office) with everyone on the same page.’’

Peterson has expressed interest in going back to coaching and Appalachian State continues to pursue him. Brown hinted he’d be open to moving Peterson to the bench.

“I talked to Michael (Jordan, the managing partner) about that. Michael’s trying to do everything he can,’’ to retain Peterson.

On forward Vladimir Radmanovic’s transition from playing the Los Angeles Lakers’ Triangle Offense: “We’re trying to de-program him.’’

After a fast start, following the trade to the Bobcats in February, Radmanovic struggled late, shooting 12-of-46 in his last seven games. Brown wants to broaden his game.

“He’s been a stand-still jump-shooter, played off other people,’’ Brown said of the Kobe Bryant Effect. “He’s got athleticism and other qualities. We hope he’ll change his game’’ to be more a driver and defender.

Brown added that Radmanovic might be trying too hard.

“Vlade is mistake-prone, but I think a lot of that is him trying to impress us.’’

On Diop’s arrival from Dallas: “Kind of up-and-down; I really believe he needs to work hard this summer.’’

Brown understood that Diop showed up out of game-shape because he was playing little for the Mavericks. His foul-shooting was awful (27 percent as a Bobcat), but Brown has patience because he needs another young low-post defender.

“I’m not disappointed at all in what he brings. He’s 26 (actually 27) and I’m his fourth (NBA) coach.’’

On the defense: “We’ve got to handle pick-and-rolls better, particularly when the center is involved.’’

On whether to tender Sean May a $3.6 million qualifying offer to restrict his upcoming free-agency: “Michael talked to me about that. He said he didn’t know what to do’’ about that choice.

On next season, relative to all the change this season involved: “People are comfortable around me when they know what to expect. Hopefully there’s a trust there now. In general, guys who’ve been around me know I’m pretty hands-on. I hope they think I’m fair.’’

On living apart this season from his wife and two school-age children in Philadelphia: “It’s been hard on our kids, moving them (in the past). If they don’t move (to Charlotte), I’ve got to do a better job of getting home without it (interfering) with my job.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on April 17, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink


Great stuff as always Rick. I don't get this sudden demand of playing time from Mohammed, he's a decent offensive threat, but his lateral quickness leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive end. At this point in his career he should be like Juwan Howard, a veteran leader and accept his role.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 17, 2009 12:38:25 PM

It doesn't matter how good a basketball player you are if you never get the ball in the post because another player thinks he's a better option shooting 18-footers at 39%.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 17, 2009 12:39:23 PM

I don't think I would mind making $6.4 million dollars for eight days of work...

Posted by: Bird | Apr 17, 2009 1:08:30 PM

You know I'm a fan of Felton. But I'd almost rather they trade him and May so half the jerks on this blog could talk about something else besides number of shots felton takes and May's weight.

Get over yourself, Procton.

Posted by: A Fan | Apr 17, 2009 1:10:04 PM

all this proves is that trading for mohammed was a mistake because we wont play him, giving okafor the contract we gave him was a mistake because he lacks passion, trading for diop was a mistake because hes so limited, trading for radmanovic was a mistake because he is mistake prone and they are lost at what to do wtih may. why doesn't this article fill me with confidence for next season?

Posted by: the voice | Apr 17, 2009 1:11:01 PM

For the talk about May.....cut him loose. He was not intended for the pro game. On the other hand, Raymond Felton is one of the top point guards in the league. I don't care what anybody here says. Let Nazr go and do something about center. We have no one that is intimidating. Oh for the days of Alonzo Mourning.

Posted by: Steve Gilmore | Apr 17, 2009 1:42:02 PM

these blogs is where everyone goes now to b*tch and complain about every little thing.

Posted by: Leonard | Apr 17, 2009 1:46:46 PM

Wow, the difference between a John Fox and Larry Brown interview is night and day.

Posted by: Zach | Apr 17, 2009 2:07:24 PM

Need to dump May and Nazr. Bobcats need to re-sign Felton. He had a breakout year this year and is on the brink of becoming an excellent NBA player. If he continues to develop they will have a special leader for the forseeable future.

Posted by: Panthers Super Fan | Apr 17, 2009 2:16:49 PM

MJ's quote "I'm not sure what to do about Sean May" really means 'the guy has had eight months to get down to 260 pounds and still he can't seem to get it done'...LB is putting the decision on MJ because it's his money...if he wants to have a token Tar Heel on the bench...you figure out what it's worth since your writing the checks...LB is saying 'he's not going to get any real PT until he get's down to 260'...period

Posted by: Jon in DC | Apr 17, 2009 3:50:37 PM

since when is 40% shooting from the floor and making the same stupid mistakes as you did when you were a rookie considered a break out year? felton is on the brink of being an over paid under performing point guard. if he continues to under achieve he'll be a burdon on our salary cap for years.

Posted by: the voice | Apr 17, 2009 4:02:40 PM

Dump May, try to trade Nazr & Singletary for a backup PF and a 3rd SG, Re-sign Felton, Re-sign Juwan (we need his experience and leadership) and sign Anthony Parker from Toronto. Then we might re-sign Dontell Jefferson.


We are in the playoffs next season!!!

Posted by: RonC | Apr 17, 2009 4:05:17 PM

Just curious, what are the Felton Hate Club Member's thoughts on Bill Simmons' comments from his ESPN MVP Rankings article?

"51. Raymond Felton
The guy I'd pursue this summer if I ran an NBA team. Ten weeks of trade rumors bounced off him and he never held a grudge. He has lottery pick pedigree (fifth overall in 2005), and if we've learned anything over the years, it's that many blue-chip point guards take awhile to "ferment" (for lack of a better word). He's one of the five or six best people in the league by all accounts. I've never seen a Bobcats game where he didn't play as hard as he could. The arc of his first four years looks exactly like Chauncey Billups, and like Chauncey, his game will open up once he starts making 3s. Just a lot to like. Someone will steal him this summer just like Detroit stole Billups in 2002. You watch."

Posted by: Newsinz | Apr 17, 2009 4:19:21 PM

Its hard to love basketball more when you on a consistently losing team!!!!!!!

Posted by: bigdaddy | Apr 17, 2009 4:41:55 PM

"Wow, the difference between a John Fox and Larry Brown interview is night and day."

Thats b/c Larry Brown is a REAL coach!!!

Posted by: bigdaddy | Apr 17, 2009 4:42:43 PM

And to think, we were only 1 pick away from Dwight Howard!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were so close to 1 pick away from Chris Paul AND Dwight!

Posted by: Greg S | Apr 17, 2009 5:30:10 PM

Panthers Super Fan says, "Need to dump May and Nazr."

This isn't the NFL. Nazr has a guaranteed contract for two years. They can't just cut him without paying his contract. May is a free agent, the question is should they let him walk or hope he can improve enough over the next year to be able to get something for him?

These are simple decisions when you are sitting in your easy chair after coming home from your job. These decisions are much tougher when making them IS your job.

Posted by: DBM LA | Apr 17, 2009 5:39:49 PM

Micheal Scphincter or Anus or however you say your name.....Move from Charlotte and give us a break.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Apr 17, 2009 5:46:25 PM

I hope you die soon!

Posted by: Procton Hater | Apr 18, 2009 11:06:24 AM

So Newsinz let's go over what Bill Simmons said about Ray-

1. He never held a grudge after trade rumors
2. He has lottery pick pedigree
3. Many blue-chip point guards take awhile to "ferment"
4. He's one of the five or six best people in the league
5. He plays as hard as he can
6. The arc of his first four years looks exactly like Chauncey Billups, and like Chauncey, his game will open up once he starts making 3s

He says nothing about his current play on the court except that he plays hard, which no one would argue with. This whole blurb is based on hope that he starts making 3s (don't hold your breath) and becomes like Billups. How many PGs have had really mediocre first four years and NOT ended up like Billups?

Plus, I'm pretty sure that watching nearly every game Ray has ever played holds a little more weight than Bill Simmons watching a few. I don't expect Ray to be back.

Posted by: C | Apr 18, 2009 11:09:58 AM

Emeka Okafor's and Raymond Felton's success in this league does not depend on how successful Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are, or and will be.

Posted by: RP | Apr 18, 2009 11:13:51 AM

Through four years:

Felton-2.7 TO/g; .399 FG% on 12.5 FG/g

Billups-1.9 TO/g; .390 FG% on 9.0 FG/g

So if by "looks exactly like" he means he turns it over more and jacks up 40% more shots on equally bad shooting, sure, that's a great comparison!

I'm sorry, but like C said, being a nice guy and being picked high in the draft out of desperation because we missed on the two good PGs that year are not things that are going to take us to the playoffs.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 18, 2009 3:53:31 PM

And how many minutes did Billups average compared to Felton?

One thing's for sure, no one was given Billups an all-defensive nomination in his fourth season.

Posted by: RP | Apr 18, 2009 5:23:07 PM

Procton how long did it take for you to print that dribble?

Posted by: sam | Apr 18, 2009 5:42:17 PM

Procton, are you ever going to learn how to use stats? I guess I'll clean your mess for you.

1) Your FG(attempts)/Game figures are skewed. As RP pointed out, Felton has played more minutes per game than Billups and has played in many more games than Bullups did through 4 years. If you know anything about statistics, you know you're working with different samples sizes when comparing the 2 players and therefore have to weight the averages.

2) If you look at FGA/36 minutes you'll see that Chancey has averaged 12.3 for his career(not far off from his first 4 season average) and Felton has averaged 12.7. That is not a big difference.

3) Per 36 min. Chauncey has averaged 2.55 T/O through his first 4 years. Again, not very different from Felton. Your 1.9 figure is useless and you know it.

The point I'm making is that Procton used an entire post trying to point out differences between two players based on stats. More useful statistics, however have proven those differences to be arbitrary at best. Procton knows it's better to use per min stats rather than full game. His agenda is not to be accurate however, it's only to hate any UNC player that every walked the face of the earth.

Procton, use that education of yours to learn a thing or two about statistics. I'm sure they have to have an intro to stats class or something.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 18, 2009 7:52:57 PM

"Candid to the end"? Larry Brown won't come out and say what everyone already knows: Sean May has been a disappointment as a pro, he can't stay healthy, plus he's fat and lacks the passion to get in shape. What a joke.

Great comments on Okafor though. Coach is dead on there.

Posted by: Deuce | Apr 18, 2009 10:09:38 PM

Put....the egos....down.

Posted by: VIK | Apr 18, 2009 11:22:37 PM

man, procton...in your face. Your arguement was weak at best and Bobby just made some pretty valid arguements considering the use of statistics. I guess it doesnet matter...you can use stats to paint any picture you want. What doesnt get pointed out are the intangibles that players like Felton bring. Its what makes people like "C" post iggnorant comments on the board.

Lets see....you are basically saying that because Raymond has shown nothing but character and professionalism ("never held a grudge after trade rumors, He's one of the five or six best people in the league"), is the product of a NCAA championship team ("has lottery pick pedigree"), has been shuffled between the point and off guard position on a consistently poor team with 3 different coaches in the past 4 years ("Many blue-chip point guards take awhile to "ferment"), and he gives everything he has for this team every game he plays ("He plays as hard as he can") that his current play and court demeanor show no signs of improvement, no sign of being a quality guard in the league and no sign that he will ever end up a solid contributing point guard in the years to come? Is that what you are saying "C"? If you are then Im pretty sure you are the dumbest poster I have EVER seen on this board....and thats a pretty bold statement given all the haters on this board. Felton is not perfect. He may not have the complete skill set of Williams or Paul, but he is a SOLID PG in the league and there will be teams hunting for him during he offseason. Besides, when did felton ever get to play PG uncontested next to players like Boozer and West...makes a big difference in the way you play and the way you get recognized. Besides...what if he did start to improve on his 3 point shooting....Think about it

Posted by: SF Bobcats | Apr 19, 2009 3:46:19 AM

Playoff posibility next year: Which among these teams do you actually think the cats are better? Cavs, celtics, magic, hawks, heat, sixers, bulls and pistons? These does not include the wizards who should have a healthy roster next season and the improving indiana team.

I'm sorry, but if anyone thinks these team is a lock in the playoffs the way it is next season, is dreaming!!!

Positivity is one thing but Stupidity is another.

Posted by: wil | Apr 19, 2009 3:54:43 AM

Bobby, statistics is probably the class that finished Procton off at UNC, this is why he is struggling at a 2 bit community college

Posted by: jd | Apr 19, 2009 4:54:46 PM

When Felton is gone, who's Procton gonna blame Mek's weak-ass game on?

Posted by: apauldds | Apr 22, 2009 11:50:55 AM

Please, Don't Sign May.

Posted by: The Future | May 5, 2009 2:24:32 PM

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