Archive for the ‘ Charlotte Hornets Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets. That’s right, the Hornets. There aren’t Bobcats around anymore. Not in NBA basketball, at least. Get used to it. The Hornets. Charlotte Hornets. Anyway, here:

Cody Zeller hopes Hornets do land Gordon Hayward

Would free-agent forward-guard Gordon Hayward be a good fit with the Charlotte Hornets?

No, Hornets forward Cody Zeller replied Wednesday; Hayward would be a “perfect” fit.

“I love his game. He plays really fundamental basketball, creates a lot for his teammates,” Zeller said following summer-league practice.

“(Passing is) one of his talents. And he shoots really well and he’s big for a guard. I think he’d be perfect for us.”

Hayward, 6-foot-8, who played his first four seasons with the Utah Jazz, has agreed to sign a four-year, $63 million offer sheet with the Hornets once the NBA’s moratorium on signings ends Thursday. The Observer reported the Hornets’ agreement with Hayward early Wednesday morning.

Here’s the Deseret News reporting on the Jazz summer league squad:

Former Utah State men’s basketball player Jarred Shaw will be a member of the Charlotte Hornets NBA Summer League roster.

The NBA Summer League will be held July 11-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Thomas and Mack Center and COX Pavilion on the UNLV campus. Each team will play no fewer than five games, including three preliminary games before beginning the seeded tournament on July 16.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have acquired the draft rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall) from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the draft rights to P.J. Hairston (26th overall) and Semaj Christon (55th overall), a 2019 second-round draft choice and cash considerations.

“Shabazz Napier is a winner, he’s a two-time NCAA champion and he’s one of the elite players in college basketball,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel very fortunate we were able to acquire him and we feel like he fits in extremely well. He has a high motor, high basketball IQ, is a great shooter and has great character.”

Napier, a two-time NCAA champion, appeared in a school-record 143 career games (98 starts) for the Huskies and averaged 13.7 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 32.3 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. He totaled 1,959 points while dishing out 646 assists, becoming the only player in school history to total at least 1,500 points and 500 assists.

During his senior season, Napier helped lead UConn to the 2014 NCAA Championship after appearing in 40 games (all starts) and averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.83 steals and 35.1 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 87 percent from the foul line. He was named the 2014 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Additionally, he was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection and named to the AP All-American First Team. He led his team in points (720), rebounds (196), assists (195), steals (73), field goals made (213), three-point field goals made (87) and free throws made (207) while capping his senior season averaging 21.2 points during the NCAA tournament, earning the Final Four and East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has added Steve Hetzel as an assistant coach on the staff of Head Coach Steve Clifford.

Hetzel joins the Hornets after spending last season as head coach of the Canton Charge in the NBA D-League. Under Hetzel’s leadership, the Charge posted a 28-22 record, finishing second in the East Division and earning the seventh seed in the D-League playoffs.

Before moving to Canton, Hetzel spent four seasons with the Detroit Pistons as player development coach, where he was responsible for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of individual players and assisting with their growth throughout the season. Prior to joining the Pistons, Hetzel served as video coordinator for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2006-09. He got his start in the NBA as assistant video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005-06.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets (the former Bobcats):

Insight on Rod Higgins leaving Hornets

Owner Michael Jordan’s decision to give more power to general manager Rich Cho led to Rod Higgins leaving the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets abruptly announced Higgins’ departure as president of basketball operations just past midnight Friday, two weeks before the June 26 draft.

In an exclusive interview with the Charlotte Observer, Jordan said Friday that he recently offered Higgins a new contract and that they had agreed on financial terms. Then, about a week ago, Jordan told Higgins he wanted to rearrange some job responsibilities to better fit Higgins’ and Cho’s skill sets.

“Rod’s strong points are working with the coaches and the trainers, traveling with the team,” Jordan said. “He was my buffer zone with the coaches. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with ideas, so I’d work with Rod on that.”

Jordan said he wants Cho, with a background as an attorney, dealing more with budgets and managing the salary cap.

charlotte hornets

The Charlotte Hornets today announced that Rod Higgins has stepped down as the team’s President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Rod for his seven years of dedication to this organization,” said Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan. “Rod has been a consummate professional throughout his time with the team. Thanks to his hard work and commitment, we have an improved roster and we are poised for success in the future. Rod was of great help to me as I navigated my first four years as majority owner of this franchise. I wish him all the best.”

Rich Cho will remain in his capacity as General Manager and assume responsibility for the team’s basketball operations. He will report to Jordan and Vice Chairman Curtis Polk.

Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield today announced that the Charlotte Hornets will play a regional home contest in Greenville, SC, for the first time as part of the team’s 2014 preseason schedule. The Hornets will take on the Washington Wizards on Friday, October 10, at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The game will tip off at 7:00 p.m.

“As we transition to the Charlotte Hornets, we continue to look for opportunities to bring NBA basketball to cities across the Carolinas,” said Whitfield. “We are pleased to be playing in Greenville for the first time and are excited to showcase our games to new locations throughout the region.”

Here’s ESPN.com with a fun report about Rashad McCants and life as a “student-athlete” basketball star at UNC:

Rashad McCants says he barely studied at UNC and took bogus classes

Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on the North Carolina basketball team that won the 2004-05 national title, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC, and he remained able to play largely because he took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible.

McCants told “Outside the Lines” that he could have been academically ineligible to play during the championship season had he not been provided the assistance. Further, he said head basketball coach Roy Williams knew about the “paper-class” system at UNC. The so-called paper classes didn’t require students to go to class; rather, students were required to submit only one term paper to receive a grade.

McCants also told “Outside the Lines” that he even made the Dean’s List in Spring 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight-A grades. He said advisers and tutors who worked with the basketball program steered him to take the paper classes within the African-American Studies program.

McCants’ allegations mirror and amplify many of those first made public in 2011, when the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer began to report about widespread academic fraud at UNC. The scandal has centered on the African-American Studies classes that many athletes took in order to remain eligible. The newspaper reported in December 2012 that basketball players on the national championship team accounted for 15 enrollments in the classes. A UNC internal investigation found that 54 classes in the department of African and Afro-American Studies were either “aberrant” or “irregularly” taught from summer 2007 to summer 2011. That investigation only went back to 2007, according to the school’s review, because the two senior associate deans who conducted the probe were told by Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to focus on that time frame.

Gerald Henderson undergoes wrist surgery

Gerald Henderson undergoes wrist surgery

Charlotte Hornets guard Gerald Henderson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist to remove scar tissue. The surgery was performed at the Duke University Medical Center by Dr. David Ruch. Henderson’s wrist will be immobilized for approximately two weeks before he begins the rehabilitation process.

Henderson averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 32.0 minutes per game in 77 contests (all starts) for Charlotte last season. The No. 12 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Henderson has played in 311 career games for Charlotte.

Gerald Henderson undergoes wrist surgery

Gerald Henderson undergoes wrist surgery

Charlotte Hornets guard Gerald Henderson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist to remove scar tissue. The surgery was performed at the Duke University Medical Center by Dr. David Ruch. Henderson’s wrist will be immobilized for approximately two weeks before he begins the rehabilitation process.

Henderson averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 32.0 minutes per game in 77 contests (all starts) for Charlotte last season. The No. 12 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Henderson has played in 311 career games for Charlotte.

Charlotte Bobcats officially became Charlotte Hornets today

After 12 years, the Charlotte Hornets name has officially returned to the Carolinas. Today the name of Charlotte’s original NBA franchise is back as the Charlotte Bobcats have officially re-branded as the Charlotte Hornets.

“Today is truly an historic day for our franchise, our city and our fans as we mark the official return of the Charlotte Hornets,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan. “Thanks to our fans who were the driving force behind the Hornets name returning. We are thrilled to be able to bring the Hornets name back to the Carolinas.”

In addition, the team announced that after collaborating with the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans, all of the statistical information, records and history of Charlotte NBA basketball will also be returning to the franchise. The Hornets will now own and have access to all of the historical elements from not only the Bobcats era (2004-2014) but also the original Hornets era in Charlotte (1988-2002). The Pelicans will maintain the history and statistics beginning with the team’s first season in New Orleans (2002-03).

The Hornets was the name of the city’s first NBA franchise from 1988-2002. The NBA returned to Charlotte in 2004 as the Bobcats and played under that name from 2004-2014. On May 21, 2013, Jordan announced that the organization had applied to change its name to the Charlotte Hornets, a move that was approved unanimously by the NBA Board of Governors on July 18, 2013.

Josh McRoberts has surgery to remove bone spurs from toe

Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts underwent successful surgery today to remove bone spurs from his left big toe. The surgery was performed by foot specialist Dr. Bob Anderson.

McRoberts will not be allowed to do any basketball activities for at least four weeks. His status will be updated as warranted.

Heat eliminate Bobcats from NBA playoffs

lebron james

LeBron James heard the cheers from the crowd as he lay on the court holding his right thigh and writhing in pain.

It only seemed to awaken the four-time league MVP.

James scored 19 of his game-high 31 points after sustaining a thigh bruise early in the third quarter, helping the Miami Heat earn a first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 109-98 victory Monday night. He finished Game 4 10 of 19 from the field and had nine assists.

“It’s definitely sore,” James said. “I’m fortunate we were able to close out tonight and I can give it a little rest.” …

The Bobcats played without Al Jefferson, their leading scorer and rebounder who has been bothered by a foot injury since the first quarter of Game 1.

“If you take away the best offensive player from any team in the league it dramatically changes your team,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said.

Kemba Walker picked up the slack, playing tough throughout and finishing with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting…

Charlotte never won a postseason game as the Bobcats in franchise history.

– Associated Press

Charlotte Bobcats chairman Michael Jordan issued the following statement today on the racially-insensitive comments allegedly made in private by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling:

“I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”

Sunday in Miami, the Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1 of their first round NBA playoff series. But the Bobcats did enjoy a highlight coming in the form of a great Josh McRoberts dunk on Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Enjoy the video clip:

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the LeBron James and the Heat, who tomorrow begin their first-round playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats, who are owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan:

James has two NBA championships. Jordan won six. James has four NBA MVPs. Jordan earned five. James is a better athlete. Jordan is a tough competitor. James likes to ride bikes in his free time. Jordan is a golfer. And it goes on from there.

Everyone has an opinion. Even the President of the United States has weighed in on the topic.

Sure, Barack Obama once said James held the world in the palm of his hand, but, given a choice, he probably would pick Jordan to strip that sphere in the open court and glide in for a tongue-wagging breakaway dunk.

“I’m a Chicago guy, and Mike will always be the guy for me,” Obama said in an interview with Charles Barkley in 2012.

Of course, Obama then added to that show of loyalty a mighty large caveat.

“LeBron has the chance to be as good as anybody,” he said.

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

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