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September 28, 2009

Brown fires a zinger at Ajinca

 When Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown sends a message, it's seldom ambiguous. Case in point: What he said Monday about the lacking effort Alexis Ajinca showed this summer in tryouts for the French national team:

"I was going (to France) to drink the wine and eat the food. After watching him, nothing tastes good,'' Brown said of his second-year big man. "He showed no interest in making their team or playing hard. It was almost like he didn't think he had a chance to make the team, didn't understand why he was there. I looked at that as a wonderful opportunity. Boris (Diaw) approached it that way and played for 10 weeks'' over the summer.

Ajinca moped occasionally over not playing much as a rookie and was eventually sent to the Bobcats' development-league affiliate, then in Sioux Falls, S.D. Now there are abundant minutes available behind Diaw at power forward, and Brown doesn't want Ajinca squandering this opportunity.

"I think he has an understanding of what we want and he certainly has the talent,'' Brown said. "He has to allow us to coach him. If not, instead of being in Sioux Falls, S.D., he'll be in Portland, Maine.''

Portland is the Bobcats' new D-League affiliate.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 28, 2009 at 04:58 PM | Permalink


Ajinca is a wasted draft pick. When Brown gets into "kick butt" mode in the press with a player, it's the last call in his book. A shame they made the deal and ended up taking this guy anyway. LB obviously thought he saw great potential in the guy because he was "athletic". Problem is he hadn't accomplished any real RESULTS before he was drafted, and hasn't produced any since. Hard to measure heart and basketball IQ when you review the other "measurables", so it's wise to include the previous resume as part of the evaluation process. Had we done that properly in that draft, we would be talking about Brook Lopez and Mario Chalmers instead of DJ and the french bean.

Posted by: Mark | Sep 28, 2009 5:11:48 PM

"I was going (to France) to work on competitive basketball. After watching him, I want to surrender."

Posted by: Larry Brown | Sep 28, 2009 5:29:12 PM

So let's see what LB really thinks - Bobcats hold an option to extend Ajinca's contract for the 2010-2011 season - that option must be exercised by Oct 31, 2009 - otherwise Ajinca is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

if LB decides to cut his losses, we'll know by the end of October..

Posted by: bobfan1 | Sep 28, 2009 5:42:37 PM

I think they'll exercise the option regardless because of the cost...its around 1 million right? for a long young big man? its worth it, even if they trade him on draft night for a 2nd rounder its whatever.

however, i have faith dude is gonna show something. i mean he's 21 now? or almost 21? and i saw enough last year just in small flashes that the guy could be pretty sick given his skill set for his size. i mean its freakish. giving an F is the part that might hold him back but hopefully not.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 28, 2009 5:52:58 PM

Anything else happen at media day besides Larry talking about his disappointment in big Frenchie.

Posted by: Jimmy | Sep 28, 2009 6:03:56 PM

It's media day and this is the only story we get. This is pathetic. I keep hearing that the observer doesn't have the resources to cover the Cats, but Bonnell was there and this is what we get.

Posted by: fsupantherz | Sep 28, 2009 6:13:22 PM

FSUpatherz et al - patience - this is a newspaper with papers to sell! If everything that occured at media day was posted immediately, then what would be in the newspaper tomorrow and who would buy it? and then you'd complain tomorrow there was nothing else written!

I know we live in a 24x7-gotta-have-it-now-twitter-it-to-me-NOW environment, but jeez, let someone make a living writing and selling what they find out. (Note: you are not paying for access to this blog so what are you really complaining about!)

media day is more than interviews; It is also media opportunity to get all those head and shoulder shots, voice overs,etc that you see and hear all season. So it's not all 'news' and 'interview' driven - a lot of it is mundane stuff.

p.s. here's something that Jeff Elder posted...


Posted by: bobfan1 | Sep 28, 2009 6:28:03 PM

What makes you think that's the only thing you're getting? I zipped that out on my blog because I found it particularly interesting. I'm writing a long feature on Tyson Chandler and a notepad I topped with that Ajinca item. It'll all be on the website tonight and the paper tomorrow.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 28, 2009 6:30:05 PM

bobfan1, i know what media day is. we'll see about tomorrow's feature...and don't act like the observer's been on top of everything. i've been viewing this site and the paper for years and normally the news i get about the Cats come from other sources.

Posted by: fsupantherz | Sep 28, 2009 7:04:58 PM

Ajinca seems to be pulling an Adam Morrison. He is complaining about playing time, yet he has not done what is necessary to enter the rotation. If he isn't ready for regular PT by the start of the season, I say send him to Maine. He's gotta learn...

The PF by committee thing is worth a shot. Let's hope Derrick Brown hit the weight room and put on a little weight.

Posted by: Token | Sep 28, 2009 7:12:19 PM

"When Brown gets into "kick butt" mode in the press with a player, it's the last call in his book." - Mark

LMAO. Thats so funny & so true Mark. First it was May, then Morrison, then Chokafor, now Ajinca. LB is a riot!

Posted by: D.W.G | Sep 28, 2009 8:10:18 PM

Rick, WFNZ was at the arena today and was doing some interviews live on air. Phil Ford and Raymond Felton both asserted that this team could be an up-and-down running team this year. Any indication that this team will run more? Looking forward to the piece on Chandler.

Posted by: David | Sep 28, 2009 8:12:16 PM

Ajinca will be fine, hopefully while he wasn't playing in France, he was eating...lots of eating, that is what he needs to do most.

We drafted him as a prospect, and guess what, he's still a 7 footer AND he can hit a jump shot. I think he will be miserable at times during training camp, but....with LB, he will be improved when the season starts.

And LB using the media to motivate his players is nothing new, and by no means a nail in the coffin...you remember the 'iverson practice rant'..It was a similar comment by LB that lit a fire under Iverson.

Posted by: BlockParty | Sep 28, 2009 8:15:11 PM

I'm very surprised. Ajinca has shown he has the ability to be worth every bit of his #20 draft position and beyond! I think this is a smokescreen and we can expect Ajinca to be a 20-10 player going forward. He would have been a top five pick this year, just ask Brown!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Sep 28, 2009 8:26:16 PM

Yes, there was some chatter about the desire to run more. Several players said Chandler could be helpful in that way.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Sep 28, 2009 8:34:23 PM

Remember larry saying Ajinca would be a top 5 if he had waited for this year? This guy was his pick and it was terrible. This is the real reason there is no back up power forward.

Posted by: afan | Sep 28, 2009 8:59:41 PM

Sounds like Ajinca should rent and not buy. I was wondering why he never showed up in those French box scores.

Posted by: Ari | Sep 29, 2009 12:27:01 AM

Great post, Rick. Perhaps not what I wanted to hear, but like the update. Ran into Henderson tonight. You are right - very well spoken and smart person.

Posted by: HJ | Sep 29, 2009 1:07:34 AM

Shouldn't the Bobcats just trade every draft pick for a decent established player? Wouldn't this end up working out better for them in the long run?
I'm serious.
Leave scouting and drafting NBA prospects to those teams that have the infrastructure and personnel to do it properly.

Posted by: ASChin | Sep 29, 2009 4:55:59 AM

i mean to be fair, the french team has some solid solid vets in guys like parker, diaw, batum, mahini, turiaf, florent petrius,noah and mikael sitting out etc. i'm not that surprised the guy didn't make the team or think he could make the team at his age and development but it definitely woulda been good for him if he had.

btw they got peitrius listed as the starting 4.....i'm assuming they couldn't pull that deal off buyout wise.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 29, 2009 9:53:15 AM

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