Brokaw Works With Mitchell Out, Second-Tier Bobcats Have Work Out

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Charlotte's Lead Assistant Coach Sam Mitchell is out, going to the Toronto Raptors to be their new head coach. Director of Player Personnel Gary Brokaw is being elevated to Lead Assistant Coach as a replacement. Meanwhile, the Bobcats held their first summer workout yesterday.

The big names did not play (does that make the workout a sitout?). Emeka Okafor attended but did not work out. Jason Kapono, Theron Smith, and Gerald Wallace were ineligible to work out because of "contractual obligations" to their former teams, according toThe East Carolinian. I don't know what those obligations might be, given that they are now officially Bobcats.

The remaining Bobcats (what must it feel like to be the second-tier on an unexciting expansion team) ran workouts in preparation for the summer leagues that the Bobcats will be involved in. The first one, starting next Wednesday, is the Minnesota Summer League. Charlotte intends to have two-a-day practices until this Saturday, then a single practice on the Independence Day holiday before shipping out. The Minnesota Summer League will have Charlotte, Minnesota, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Toronto all playing each other exactly once. That's six times five over two, or fifteen games total. Three games a day for five days.

Brokaw has been heavily involved with the team since October, 2003, especially with the scouting and selection of their expansion and regular drafts. He is a good choice for a lead assistant under GM/coach Bernie Bickerstaff, though it is beginning to look a little odd that in one organization so many people wear multiple hats.

Replacing Brokaw as the new Director of Player Personnel will be Assistant General Manager Karl Hicks.

Emeka Okafor has signed a deal with Topps, granting them "exclusive rights within the NBA trading card category for autographed cards, game-worn memorabilia cards, special cards and subsets, and Okafor's image use on packaging and advertising." Okafor said, ""I am proud to be representing Topps. I am really looking forward to being on my first Topps basketball card."


The Associated Presswrites: The Charlotte Bobcats wasted no time replacing Sam Mitchell, hiring Gary Brokaw as their lead assistant coach Tuesday... Brokaw, an All-American guard at Notre Dame, played four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He then spent 10 seasons as a collegiate coach, five as head coach at Iona. Brokaw then moved onto the NBA, spending time with Orlando and the NBA office.

Brandon Hughes ofThe East Carolinianwrites: When new Bobcat Head Coach Bernie Bickerstaff said he would not be happy if his team took the floor with their current roster, it may have been the understatement of the new millennium.The recent expansion draft did little more than confuse and bewilder Charlotte fans and have them contemplating whether or not they would rather have back the notorious George Shinn and the Hornets that left the city several years ago.

Richard Walker ofThe Kinston Free Presswrites: Not everyone was in attendance or working out, but Charlotte Bobcats coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff was enthusiastic just the same about the team's first summer workout.Recent first-round pick Emeka Okafor was there, just not working out. And recent expansion picks Jason Kapono, Theron Smith and Gerald Wallace are ineligible for workouts until Thursday due to their contractual obligations to their former teams. Also out of action but expected in as soon as today were unrestricted free agents Maurice Carter, Richie Frahm, Junior Harrington and Danny Johnson. But Bickerstaff wasn't worried and anticipates healthy, stiff competition for the "12 to 14" players that will make the trip with the team to Minnesota next Monday.