A Bobcat By Any Other Name

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

I've always been partial to people with duplicated names, like Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali, the former Secretary General of the UN. It sounds more solid and insistent. I've often considered introducing myself as Philip Philip Maymin but could never summon the courage. Plus, I didn't think anyone would appreciate it as much I do.

Do the Charlotte Bobcats share my penchant? If so, they could probably look to nabRuben Boumtje Boumtjeof the Cleveland Cavaliers. Like a weird sort of car mirror, Boumtje's name is even longer than it appears. If you read any story about him, his name is always prefixed with "seldom-used center" as if that was his first name, or his title. Unfortunately, it's true. The seven footer out of Cameroon graduated pre-med from Georgetown, with an additional degree in math, but since then, his skills have been employed first by Portland and now by Cleveland as a bench warmer. Over his four year career, he has played a total of 276 minutes in only 44 games. Since his rookie year, he has played only 57 minutes and attempted only 11 shots. Actually, his per-minute production is not bad: his career averages scaled up to a per-48 minute basis would be 9.9 rebounds, 7.6 points, and 2.97 blocks. But he is not likely to be one of the Bobcats' most sought-after choices.

The Bobcats have several other seven-footers they could go after, like Seattle'sCalvin Booth. Booth, along with Jerome James, are Seattle's two overpaid big men, and both will likely be made available to the expansion draft. Booth has never played more than 33 minutes in any single game, but he can put up some numbers. He ranks fifth in the NBA with 4.02 blocks per 48 minutes. If we scale his career averages to a 48 minutes basis, we'd see Booth would be averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, and 1.5 assists. A solid contribution.

Another big man the Bobcats can pursue is Toronto'sCorie Blount. Blount's last name is pronounced Blunt; a mistake that has led to many people mispronouncing Boston's Mark Blount's name as Mark Blunt. The two are no relations. Corie is an 11-year veteran who has played on eight different teams in his tenure with the league, including two stints with Chicago, one as a rookie playing in the two years that Michael Jordan did not, and one as a grizzled veteran the past two years, before being traded to the Raptors halfway through this last season. He would bring some playoff experience to the Bobcats, having appeared in 37 postseason games in his career. If we continue the optimistic per-48 minute projections with him, we'd find that he has the potential to get 11.2 points, 13 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 2.2 assists. Another double-double man.

If the Bobcats do like good names but prefer a point guard, they could look to secure Dallas'sTravis Best. Best went from starting last season for the Miami Heat and playing about 25 minutes per game to backing up Steve Nash with an average of about 12.5. His per-game statistics approximately halved as well, although his shooting deteriorated more than 50%. His scoring went from 8.4 points per game last season to just 2.8 this season. The reason is that his field goal attempts per minute fell from about .3 to about .2 as his scoring was not the reason the Mavericks brought him over. Best has focused on being more of a distribute-first backup point guard.

It's not too much of a stretch to think that a team named after its owner would prefer players with storied names. These four may be among the best crop by that criteria.

The days are winding down to the Charlotte Expansion Draft and the 2004 NBA Draft. Here at, we have established the premier source for all of your draft information. Learn how the expansion draft works, what people around the country are saying, build your ideal Bobcats player and see who other teams picked at #4 in the past.

The Bobcats have selected WJZY UPN46 as their over-the-air television broadcast outlet. The station will carry up to 15 games during the 2004-05 Bobcats season. In addition to the game telecasts, WJZY will broadcast an hour-long 2004 Bobcats Draft show in late June plus additional preseason and postseason programming, a weekly team report and weekly vignettes during the season.

The Bobcats will hold an audition for the team’s first-ever dance squad on Saturday, June 5, at the Bobcats Basketball Center in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Individuals must be 19 years or older to be eligible to tryout for the dance team.


Peter May ofThe Boston Globewrites: If he [Larry Bird] had his druthers, he'd be in Charlotte now, preparing for the first season of the expansion team known as the Bobcats.But that opportunity was denied him -- he still his scars from that one -- and he ended up here, back in a zone with even more comfort than Boston.

Rick Bonnell and Mark Washburn ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: The Charlotte Bobcats will partner with WJZY (UPN Channel 46) to broadcast about 15 games on over-the-air television next season.Those WJZY games will complement about 60 Bobcats games on C-SET, a new regional sports network Bobcats owner Bob Johnson is creating. C-SET will be available only on digital cable when the Bobcats and the network debut next fall. WJZY has a history of broadcasting NBA games, having partnered with the Charlotte Hornets for six seasons.

Art Thiel ofThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes: And will the Charlotte Bobcats please, please, please take [Seattle's Jerome] James in the expansion draft?

Kerry Eggers ofThe Portland Tribune writes:As the NBA expansion draft approaches, [Portland GM John] Nash intends to talk to the new Charlotte Bobcats about who they expect other teams to have on their protected lists.“Perhaps we can engineer a trade through Charlotte,” Nash says. “It will be interesting to see what happens.”

Charley Walters ofThe Twin Cities Pioneer Presswrites: The career future of former Gopher J.B. Bickerstaff, who is the KFAN-AM analyst for the Timberwolves, could include returning to the microphone next season, becoming a Gophers assistant or working for his father, Bernie, who is general manager of the NBA expansion Charlotte Bobcats.