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The Charlotte Bobcats’ Steve Clifford and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dave Joerger today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

Clifford guided the Bobcats to the league’s best record in April at 7-1 (.875). Charlotte notched wins over three playoff teams during the month, beating the Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. The Bobcats were a perfect 3-0 in overtime games in April. Clifford’s team, which posted a 43-39 record for the year and garnered the seven seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, enters the postseason on a three-game winning streak.

Joerger led the Grizzlies to a 6-2 (.750) mark in April, including a perfect 4-0 record at home. Memphis topped the Miami Heat on April 9, their first of five consecutive wins to finish the season. Included in that streak was a 97-91 win over the Phoenix Suns on April 14, which sewed up the Grizzlies’ playoff berth, and a 106-105 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 16, which vaulted Memphis from the eight seed to the seven seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, New York’s Mike Woodson, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Washington’s Randy Wittman.

Bobcats sign DJ White for remainder of season

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward DJ White for the remainder of the season.

The 6-9 White, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts on March 21 and 31, has seen action in two games for the Bobcats this season, tallying two rebounds and one steal in five minutes. He is in his sixth NBA season and has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 138 games played with the Thunder, Bobcats and Celtics. For his career, White has shot .507 from the field (348-687) and .720 from the free-throw line (113-157).

Prior to joining the Bobcats, White played 27 games this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.9 minutes, while shooting .672 (219-326) from the field and .733 from the free-throw line (96-131). He scored in double figures 25 times, including 17 games of 20 points or more, and posted eight double-doubles.

The Charlotte Bobcats have leapfrogged another team, increasing the odds that their return to the playoffs won’t be a token appearance.

The Washington Wizards have dropped a spot and are having issues. Or, as center Marcin Gortat put it: “The way we play right now, we ain’t going to beat anybody, including Milwaukee.”

The Bobcats blew a 20-point, first-half lead to the Wizards on Wednesday night before winning 94-88 in overtime, moving Charlotte into position for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

“To go from basically the worst team going to the six seed, I mean, it shows a lot,” said guard Kemba Walker, who scored the only field goal in overtime for either team.

The win left both teams at 40-38 with four games remaining, but Charlotte won the season series 3-1 and therefore holds the tiebreaker. Both teams want to stay out of seventh or eighth to avoid a first-round series against the two conference powerhouses, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.

– Associated Press

Watch some video highlights from the career of former NBA center Alonzo Mourning, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

Jorge Gutierrez

Brooklyn Nets guard Jorge Gutierrez has been fined $15,000 for making excessive contact above the shoulders with Charlotte Bobcats center Cody Zeller, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The foul on Gutierrez, for which he was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected, occurred with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Bobcats’ 116-111 overtime win over the Nets on Wednesday, March 26, at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday Charlotte could host a future All-Star Game.

First, he said, the city must upgrade Time Warner Cable Arena, which needs $41.9 million of work, according to a list of needs compiled by the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

“I’d love to bring the All-Star Game back here,” Silver said before the Bobcats game with the Houston Rockets. “This is a wonderful community, a hotbed of basketball, not just pro but college as well.”

He added: “There are some upgrades to the building that are needed. I know those discussions are underway right now. It’s part of the understanding here that the building remain state-of-the-art. Nothing dramatic is needed. But certainly an upgrade to the scoreboard, some things with the suites and the lighting.”

Report: DJ White to Bobcats soon

Here’s the Charlotte Observer Blog reporting:

DJ White to Bobcats soon

The Charlotte Bobcats will bring back a familiar face when they sign power forward DJ White later this week.

A source familiar with the situation told the Observer Wednesday that the Bobcats plan to sign White, a 6-foot-8 forward, as soon as FIBA clears him. The deal will be a 10-day contract.

White has been playing this winter in China for the Sichuan Blue Whales, and his obligation to that team is over.

Bobcats hire Muggsy Bogues, Matt Carroll

Bobcats hire Muggsy Bogues, Matt Carroll

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield announced today that former Bobcats guard Matt Carroll has joined the organization as Community Ambassador, while former Hornets guard Muggsy Bogues has joined the team as a Hornets Ambassador participating in the team’s re-branding.

One of the most popular players in franchise history, Carroll will serve as an ambassador for the team at events related to both basketball and business operations and help inform the community about organizational initiatives. In this role, he will represent the team at community programs such as youth basketball camps, educational events, hospital visits, charity outings, speaking engagements and fundraising galas. Carroll will also have a presence on bobcats.com and on the team’s radio broadcasts.

An original member of the Charlotte Hornets, Bogues will represent the organization at events and activities related to the team’s re-branding this summer and into next season. He will make appearances at games, community events and other Hornets-related activities.

“We are delighted to have Muggsy and Matt joining our organization,” said Whitfield. “They are two of the most beloved players in Charlotte’s NBA history and we are thrilled to have them as representatives of our franchise.”

Carroll spent seven and a half of his 10 NBA seasons with the Bobcats, initially joining the team in February 2005. He played in 397 games for the Bobcats, averaging 7.4 points and 2.1 rebounds. He shot .390 from beyond the three-point line and .840 from the free-throw line, ranking second among the team’s career leaders in each category. He also ranks third in career games played and third in three-point field goals (338).

Bogues played 10 seasons for the Hornets after being selected by the team in the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft. He averaged 8.8 points, 8.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 632 games during his time in Charlotte and remains the Hornets’ career leader in minutes played (19,778), assists (5,557) and steals (1,067). Bogues ranked in the NBA’s top seven in assists in six straight seasons from 1989-95, while also ranking in the top 10 in steals three times. He led the Hornets to their first ever playoff appearance in 1993 and was also part of the 1995 and 1997 playoff runs.

Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 10, through Sunday, March 16.

Jefferson led the Bobcats to a 4-0 week behind averages of 24.3 points (second in the conference) and 11.5 rebounds (fourth in the conference). He logged 37.7 mpg (tied-eighth in the East) and posted point-rebound double-doubles in three-of-four contests. On March 12, Jefferson tallied 26 points (13-of-20 field goals) and 10 rebounds as the Bobcats beat the Wizards 98-85 at Verizon Center.

Griffin helped the Clippers to a 4-0 week with averages of 27.0 points (third in the conference), 9.3 rebounds (ninth in the conference), 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals. He logged 36.9 mpg (eighth in the conference). Griffin tallied 20-or-more points in all four games and eclipsed the 30-point plateau twice, including on March 12, when he scored 30 points and added 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals during a 111-98 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Indiana’s Paul George, Memphis’ Mike Conley, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr, and San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with some good news about the Bobcats:

Gerald Henderson set to return for Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson practiced Tuesday after missing the past five games with a strained right calf. He believes he’ll be fine to play Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.

“I feel good,” Henderson said after a post-practice game of one-on-one against Jannero Pargo. “It’s tough having to be out in that stretch. But I wanted to get myself back to 100 percent and not have that calf bother me the rest of the season.

“I feel good and I’m ready to go.”

Bobcats sign Justin Hamilton to 10-day contract

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed center Justin Hamilton to a 10-day contract. Hamilton joins the Bobcats from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA D-League, becoming the 29th Gatorade Call-Up this season. He will wear No. 41. The Bobcats roster now stands at 15 players.

In 37 games played for the Skyforce this season, the 7-0 Hamilton is averaging 19.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 assists in 35.8 minutes, while shooting .491 from the field (269-548), .385 from beyond the three-point line (30-78) and .812 from the free-throw line (147-181). He has scored in double figures 34 times, including 21 games of 20 points or more and three contests with 30 points or more, and recorded 16 games with double-figure rebounds, tallying 16 double-doubles.

Hamilton leads in the D-League in offensive rebounding, while ranking fifth in blocks, sixth in rebounding and 16th in scoring. He played for the Futures team in the 2014 D-League All-Star Game, scoring 20 points on 8-12 shooting, including 2-4 from beyond the three-point line, and 2-2 free-throw shooting.

Hamilton was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 45th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft before having his rights traded to the Miami Heat. He spent the 2012-13 season playing internationally, first for KK Cibona in Croatia and later for VEF Riga in Latvia.

Bobcats waive Ben Gordon

Bobcats waive Ben Gordon

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has requested waivers on guard Ben Gordon.  The Bobcats roster now stands at 14 players.

“With the recent acquisition of additional backcourt depth to our roster, we believe this is in the best interests of both parties,” Higgins said.  “We want to thank Ben for his contributions over the past two seasons and wish him the best as he moves on in his career.”

According to Yahoo Sports, “Gordon couldn’t reach an agreement with a playoff-bound team to get eligible for a postseason roster before Saturday’s deadline, so contenders are no longer interested in signing him. Nevertheless, there is interest among some non-playoff bound teams, sources said, and Gordon is weighing those opportunities against sitting out the rest of the season and preparing for summer free agency.”

Acquired from the Detroit Pistons along with a future first-round draft pick on June 26, 2012, in exchange for Corey Maggette, Gordon played in 94 games for the Bobcats with averages of 10.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19.6 minutes.  Gordon saw action in 19 games this season, averaging 5.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 14.7 minutes.

According to the Associated Press, “Gordon was making $13.2 million this season.”

kemba walker

Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Sunday, Feb. 23.

Walker led the Bobcats to a 4-0 week behind averages of 22.5 points (tied for seventh in the conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 5.5 rebounds. His 40.5 minutes per game ranked third in the East. Walker tallied 20-plus points three times and eclipsed the 30-point plateau once. He scored 24 points, handed out a career-high 16 assists and added five rebounds on Feb. 19, during a 116-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.

kevin love

Love helped the Timberwolves to a 2-1 behind a league-best 36.7 ppg and 12.7 rpg (fourth in the league). He recorded a point-rebound double-double in all three contests, and notched one triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 22, during a 121-104 win over the Utah Jazz. Love leads the NBA with 47 double-doubles on the season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin, Miami’s Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s John Wall.

michael redd

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien. Neal will wear No. 12 for the Bobcats, while Ridnour will wear No. 13.

“We are excited to add a pair of quality players to our backcourt,” Higgins said. “Gary is an exceptional shooter and Luke is a veteran point guard who can help us off the bench. They both have significant postseason experience so they know how to get where we’re trying to go. We look forward to adding them to our rotation. We also want to thank Ramon and Jeff for their contributions and professionalism and wish them the best of luck.”

The 6-4 Neal is in his fourth NBA season and holds career averages of 9.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 234 games played for the Spurs and Bucks, with career shooting percentages of .427 from the field (851-1992), .393 from beyond the three-point line (341-868) and .821 from the free-throw line (243-296). His three-point percentage currently ranks 20th among active players and 50th all-time. Neal, who was not selected in the 2007 NBA Draft and spent three seasons playing overseas in Italy, Spain and Turkey before signing with the Spurs in 2010, was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2010-11, becoming just the second undrafted player ever to earn All-Rookie First Team honors.

In 30 games played for the Bucks this season, Neal averaged 10.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes. He shot .390 from the field (108-277), .360 from beyond the three-point line (40-111) and .833 from the free-throw line (45-54).

The 6-2 Ridnour is in his 11th NBA season after being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He has played in 758 career games for the SuperSonics, Bucks and Timberwolves, with career averages of 9.8 points, 4.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 steal. Ridnour has career shooting percentages of .432 from the field (2816-6519), .351 from beyond the three-point line (552-1571) and .864 from the free-throw line (1268-1468). He has finished in the NBA’s top 10 in free throw percentage in four of his 10 seasons, and his career percentage of .864 currently ranks eighth among active players and 27th all-time.

Ridnour played in 36 games for the Bucks this season, starting 12, and averaged 5.7 points, 3.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 21.2 minutes, while shooting .384 from the field (84-219) and .368 from beyond the three-point line (25-68).

A six-year NBA veteran from the University of Nevada, Sessions, 27, returns for his second stint with Milwaukee. Originally selected by the Bucks with the 56th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Sessions played his first two seasons in Milwaukee and averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 96 games. Sessions tallied 10+ assists on 16 occasions in a Bucks uniform, including 12 point/assist double-doubles. On April 14, 2008, Sessions handed out a Bucks franchise-record 24 assists vs. Chicago. He also tallied a career-best 44 points in a Bucks uniform on Feb. 7, 2009, vs. Detroit. Sessions owns career averages of 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 439 career games with Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland, the L.A. Lakers and Charlotte.

Adrien, 28, is averaging 2.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in his fourth NBA season. After going undrafted out of the University of Connecticut in 2009, Adrien signed as a free agent with Golden State and appeared in 23 games as a rookie for the Warriors during the 2010-11 season. He played his second NBA season with Houston before signing with Charlotte prior to the 2012-13 campaign. In his four NBA seasons, Adrien owns career averages of 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 108 games.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with a report on the Bobcats being interested in veteran Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. Doesn’t sound like anything will happen, but here’s the discussion:

pau gasol

The Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Los Angeles Lakers concerning veteran big man Pau Gasol, but a source familiar with the discussion downplayed the likelihood Gasol would end up a Bobcat by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Gasol makes over $19 million in this, the final season of his current contract. Superstar Kobe Bryant is hurt and the Lakers have fallen out of the Western Conference playoff race, so getting something for Gasol – like a first-round pick – is something the Lakers have explored.

While adding Gasol could give the Bobcats the short-term boost to make the playoffs, giving up a first-round pick would make Gasol more of a long-term investment. That’s where the Bobcats would have pause.

Kemba Walker out 10-14 days with ankle sprain

Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker is expected to miss 10-14 days after an MRI today confirmed a second degree sprain in his left ankle. Walker suffered the injury in the third quarter of last night’s game against Miami. X-rays taken at Time Warner Cable Arena following the injury were negative.

Walker has played in all 42 games for the Bobcats this season, averaging team highs of 18.7 points, 5.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 35.7 minutes, along with 4.2 rebounds. He has scored in double figures 37 times, including 18 games with 20 points or more and four games with 30 points or more. He entered today’s games ranked 22nd in the NBA in minutes played, tied for 26th in assists, ranked 27th in scoring and ranked 27th in steals.

The Charlotte Bobcats have been solid this season, putting together a respectable 14-15 record, and doing it with defense. Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with an update on injured SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who in 18 games played was averaging 9.1 points per game before suffering an injury:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injury update

The cast has been removed from Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s broken left hand, but that doesn’t mean he can start practicing just yet.

Kidd-Gilchrist had a doctor’s appointment Friday, where it was determined he’d healed enough that the cast could be replaced with a splint. Kidd-Gilchrist broke the hand at the base of his left ring finger during the Bobcats’ Dec. 3 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Jeff Taylor underwent successful surgery today to repair the rupture in his right Achilles tendon that he suffered in Friday’s game at Detroit. The surgery was performed by foot specialist Dr. Bob Anderson.

Following four weeks of non-weight bearing, Taylor will begin the rehabilitation process. The standard timeline for recovery is 6-9 months.

Charlotte Bobcats waive James Southerland, sign Chris Douglas-Roberts

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent guard/forward Chris Douglas-Roberts and waived forward James Southerland.

Douglas-Roberts, who was playing with the NBA D-League Texas Legends, becomes the fifth D-League Gatorade Call-Up of the 2013-14 season.

A four-year NBA veteran, the 6-7 Douglas-Roberts has played in 161 career games for the Nets, Bucks and Mavericks. He has career averages of 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.3 minutes, while shooting .442 from the field (458-1036) and .833 from the free-throw line (265-318). Douglas-Roberts was selected by the Nets with the 40th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Douglas-Roberts has also played in 17 career NBA D-League games with the Legends, with averages of 21.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 36.9 minutes. He is shooting .487 from the field (113-232), .407 from beyond the three-point line (22-54) and .889 from the free-throw line (112-126) in D-League action.

In six games for the Legends this season, Douglas-Roberts has averaged 18.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 34.0 minutes, while shooting .472 from the field (34-72), .438 from beyond the three-point line (7-16) and .860 from the free-throw line (37-43).

Southerland signed with the Bobcats on September 5, 2013, after not being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. He saw action in one regular-season game, playing three minutes.

michael redd

Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to be out 4-6 weeks after suffering a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the third quarter of last night’s game in Dallas. Kidd-Gilchrist, who was examined on-site last night, had additional x-rays taken this morning in Charlotte that confirmed the original diagnosis.

In 18 games this season, Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 9.1 points on .500 shooting (62-124) and 5.3 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game.

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