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July 26, 2013

Henderson to sign with Bobcats: 3 years, $18 million, player option after second season

    The Charlotte Bobcats and shooting guard Gerald Henderson are finalizing a three-year, $18 million contract extension, a knowledgeable source confirmed Friday night.

    The deal, first reported by Yahoo Sports, will give shooting guard Henderson the option to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.

    Henderson could have signed for more -- roughly an additional $1 million per season -- had he not taken the player option.

            Henderson, a restricted free agent, was second on the Bobcats in scoring last season at 15.5 points per game. He finished last season strong, averaging 23.9 points over the last 23 games, on 48 percent shooting from the field and 86 percent from the foul line.

    Henderson and point guard Kemba Walker acted as co-captains last season. The Bobcats drafted Henderson 12th overall in 2009 out of Duke. At four seasons, he’s the Bobcats’ longest-tenured player on a roster that has experienced considerable makeover the past three years.

    With Henderson returning, it appears the Bobcats have completed their major off-season transactions. Earlier in the free-agency period the Bobcats committed $41 million over the next three seasons on center Al Jefferson, a low-post scorer who last played for the Utah Jazz.

    Before signing Jefferson, the Bobcats drafted Indiana forward Cody Zeller fourth overall. Zeller excelled this month in Las Vegas, being named to that summer league’s all-tournament team. So was shooting guard/small forward Jeff Taylor.

    Henderson’s return projects a starting lineup for next season of him and Walker at the guard spots, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Zeller at forward and Jefferson at center. Bismack Biyombo, Taylor and Ben Gordon figure to the top three players off the bench in the 2013-14 season.


Posted by Observer Sports on July 26, 2013 at 09:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (110)

July 21, 2013

Video highlights: Charlotte Bobcats fall in summer-league semis

Golden State Warriors 75, Charlotte Bobcats 67: Cameron Jones scored 16 points to lead the Warriors past the Bobcats in Sunday night's NBA Summer League semifinals in Las Vegas. Troy Daniels & Brandon Triche scored 13 for Charlotte in the loss.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (27)

Video: Charlotte Bobcats advance to semifinals of 2013 NBA Summer League

Bobcats 85, D-League Select 75 - Abdul Gaddy scored a game-high 17 points to power the Bobcats to the semifinals of the 2013 NBA Summer League Championship.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 21, 2013 at 12:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

July 18, 2013

Video highlights: Bobcats drop Memphis

Bobcats 92, Grizzlies 84 - Cody Zeller led the Bobcats with 18 points and nine rebounds against the Grizzlies in the NBA Summer League. Jerome Dyson added 21 points in Charlotte's victory.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on July 18, 2013 at 11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

It's official -- Bobcats will become the Hornets

By Rick Bonnell


    LAS VEGAS – Eleven years after Charlotte’s original NBA team moved to New Orleans, the Queen City got back its Hornets.

            By a unanimous vote of the league’s owners at a Las Vegas resort, the Bobcats were granted permission Thursday to change their nickname to the Hornets. That change will take effect after the 2013-14 season, allowing enough lead time to switch uniforms, logos and signage in and around Time
Warner Cable Arena.

            The Hornets moved in 2002 after owner George Shinn and city council failed to work out a deal to replace the Charlotte Coliseum. The NBA quickly replaced the Hornets in Charlotte with
an expansion team with new owner Bob Johnson called the Bobcats.

            That name wasn’t well received by Charlotteans, some of whom saw “Bobcats’’ as a show of vanity by Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnson ended up selling majority control of the team to Michael Jordan in March 2010.

            Former NBA superstar Jordan frequently said his goal was to recreate the atmosphere he remembered playing against the Hornets as far back as the team’s debut season in 1988. The Hornets sold out the 24,000-plus seat Coliseum for nearly nine seasons, regularly leading the NBA in attendance.

            The Hornets had a distinctive purple-and-teal color scheme, with pinstriped and pleated uniforms courtesy of North Carolina-based clothing designer Alexander Julian.

            The Hornets name became available when that team was sold to Tom Benson, owner of the NFL New Orleans Saints. Benson told the NBA even before completing the purchase that he wanted to change the team’s name to something more Louisiana-oriented. The pelican is the state bird.

            Once the NBA approved the Pelicans name, Jordan formally requested the Hornets name in May, in time to complete the transition by the start of the 2014-15 season.


Posted by Observer Sports on July 18, 2013 at 08:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

July 16, 2013

Larry Jordan, brother of Bobcats owner Michael, named director of player personnel

    LAS VEGAS -– Larry Jordan, older brother of Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, is being promoted to the team’s director of player personnel, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday night.

            The promotion of Larry Jordan, previously holding the title of director of special projects, was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

    Jordan, who would report to team president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho, is in Las Vegas this week for the Bobcats’ participation in summer league. He’ll be doing various scouting assignments in this new job.

    Director of player personnel is a position last held with the Bobcats by Buzz Peterson before he left in 2009 for a second stint as head coach at Appalachian State. Peterson, Michael Jordan’s college roommate at North Carolina and a close friend, later left Appalachian State for UNC Wilmington.

    Hiring relatives has been a common practice for the Bobcats in their decade-long history. Past head coaches Bernie Bickerstaff and Paul Silas each hired a son as an assistant. Higgins’ son, Cory, played point guard the 2011-12 season for the Bobcats. Most recently, Patrick Ewing Jr., son of the team’s associate head coach, was given a spot on the summer-league roster.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (53)

July 15, 2013

Video highlights: Cody Zeller leads Charlotte Bobcats to 1st summer-league win

Charlotte Bobcats 86, Dallas Mavericks 80: Cody Zeller, the 4th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help the Bobcats close out the Mavericks in the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on July 15, 2013 at 12:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (41)

July 13, 2013

Video: Spurs edge Bobcats in NBA Las Vegas Summer League opener

Jeff Taylor scored a game-high 24 however it was Cory Joseph's clutch shot that powered the San Antonio Spurs past the Charlotte Bobcats in Friday's opening game of the Las Vegas Summer League.

Posted by Charlotte Observer on July 13, 2013 at 02:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 12, 2013

N.C. State's C.J. Leslie talks about going undrafted, 2nd chance with Knicks

            LAS VEGAS – Former N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie knew not working out for NBA teams due to injury might be bad.

            Just not slide-all-the-way-through-the draft bad. But that’s what happened the night of June 27, when he never heard his name called among the 60 picks.

            That called into question whether Leslie should have left the Wolfpack with college eligibility remaining. Then the New York Knicks called. Their generous offer – his contract is reportedly guaranteed for all of next season – put his pro career back on track.

    “They called before the draft was even over. They called somewhere in the second round,’’ Leslie recalled of the Knicks, after a 77-72 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Las Vegas summer league.

    There were always questions about how Leslie fit as an NBA player. At 6-9 and 200 pounds he doesn’t have the ideal bulk to play power forward, and his skill set isn’t a great match to small forward.

    He struggled Friday, shooting 2-of-9 from the field for seven points and totaling two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes. He’s still recovering from a hip injury that limited his ability to audition for teams.

            “The only thing I can think of is me not working out for teams. I think that was critical,’’ Leslie said. “Do I think I should have went undrafted because of that? Nah. But that’s just the way it works. This is the situation God put me in. It will all work out in the end.’’

            Leslie seemed unconcerned by how he played Friday.

    “Nothing surprised me. Just me getting used to the game,’’ Leslie said. “Getting back on the court playing 5-on-5, this is my first time – I haven’t really played pick-up. Just working out.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on July 12, 2013 at 06:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Larry Johnson all for Bobcats name change to Hornets

    LAS VEGAS -- Arguably the most famous Charlotte Hornet ever -- Larry "Grandmama" Johnson -- says he's all for the Bobcats' nickname change, which should become official at the NBA Board of Governors meeting here July 18.


    Johnson, one of the best players in Nevada-Las Vegas history, was on campus Friday for the start of summer-league games. He sees nothing but good in the Bobcats becoming the Hornets.

    "It’s been there for a long time – we started out as the Charlotte Hornets – so that would be a great idea," Johnson told the Observer. "It should be a step in the right direction for those guys."

    Though Johnson was long gone, having been traded to the New York Knicks, he said he was saddened by the Hornets' departure for New Orleans in 2002 and the Bobcats’ struggles in their first decade as a replacement team.

    "It's North Carolina – basketball heaven -- (so) they’ve got have a team and a good one. A productive basketball team fans can get behind," Johnson said.

    "I was a little sad. We led the attendance for five years. So for those fans, I hate to see it."

     Johnson retired as a player in 2001, but still looks trim enough to play now at 44. He says he took up golf when he retired and now plays constantly.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 12, 2013 at 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)