Gerald Wallace, The Other Draft Night Steal

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Emeka Okafor may have been the steal of the NBA draft but Gerald Wallace has been playing like the steal of the expansion draft. The former Sacramento King has played his heart out on in the summer league, leading the Bobcats to a 5-0 record and the distinction of Pepsi Pro league champions. He's played so well, he will likely be left off this week's summer league team so GM/coach Bernie Bickerstaff can evaluate less obvious talents.

In the last two games on Friday and Satuday, Wallace led the Bobcats in scoring 29 points in a 96-81win over the Sixers and 23 points in a 78-74championship victory over the Pistons. He also had ten and nine rebounds, respectively. In the Philadelphia game on Friday, Wallace also had five assists, four steals, and a block. In the Pistons game on Saturday, Wallace also had five steals and a block.

He may well have been the best player the Bobcats received in the expansion draft. He turns 22 in just eleven days, meaning if he had stayed in college instead of leaving after his freshman year to get picked 25th overall in the draft, he would have been a graduating senior this year.

And quite possibly the number one, two, or three pick.

Which means he may well have been the steal of the NBA draft as well.

The Bobcats will participate in the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 16-24. Their first game will be versus the Atlanta Hawks, Friday July 16th at 4:00 p.m. EDT/2:00 p.m. MDT. Other teams participating in the RMR include the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Sonics, and host Utah Jazz. The remainder of their RMR schedule is as follows:

*Friday, July 16th - Atlanta - 4:00 p.m. EDT
*Saturday, July 17th - San Antonio - 4:00 p.m. EDT
*Sunday, July 18th - Seattle - 8:00 p.m. EDT
*Monday, July 19th - Bye
*Tuesday, July 20th - Indiana - 8:00 p.m. EDT
*Wednesday, July 21st - Dallas - 10:00 p.m. EDT
*Thursday, July 22nd - Chicago - 8:00 p.m. EDT
*Friday, July 23rd - Utah - 10:00 p.m. EDT
*Saturday, July 24th - Bye

The Bobcats went undefeated and beat the second-place Detroit Pistons in the inaugural Minnesota Summer League last week at the Target Center. All boxscores below:

*CHARLOTTE 69, Toronto 53
*CHARLOTTE 81, Minnesota 76
*CHARLOTTE 74, Milwaukee 63
*CHARLOTTE 96, Philadelphia 81
*CHARLOTTE 78, Detroit 74


Carol Smith ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: Martin Bechtold was named senior vice president for event booking and marketing for the new Charlotte Arena by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Gregory M. Lamb ofThe Christian Science Monitorwrites: Walk into San Francisco's SBC Park for a Giants baseball game, and you can bring along a laptop or hand-held computer to follow the action or check your e-mail. This year the ballpark has been wired with Wi-Fi, which allows wireless connection to the Internet.The same will be true later this year at the new arena where the Charlotte Bobcats, the latest expansion team of the National Basketball Association, will play.

Rick Bonnell ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: He's [Gerald Wallace] angry and that's a good thing; he's determined to prove the Sacramento Kings under-valued him the past three seasons. He played like a star and a leader last week, leaping for every loose ball and continuously sacrificing his body to make defensive plays. By the end of the week, he had a split lip, a hip pointer, a bruised elbow and a gash on his wrist -- but he kept playing.He plays something like a young Stacey Augmon, but with more ability -- and inclination -- to score. He has good ballhandling skills, but he doesn't always make good decisions -- which led to 19 turnovers last week.

ThePilot.comwrites: Jeff Capel is looking forward to the Charlotte Bobcats’ inaugural NBA season in 2004-05. And he will have an up-close view since the Bobcats named him an assistant coach Friday.The Moore County native, the son of Felton and Jean Capel of Southern Pines, began his coaching career at Pinecrest High School. He will join a staff that includes Bernie Bickerstaff, general manager and head coach, and assistants Gary Brokaw, John-Blair Bickerstaff, Gary Kloppenburg and John Outlaw.