Don't Worry, Be Happy

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

Curtis Borchardt was relieved that the Bobcats passed on him in favor of selecting Sasha Pavlovic from the Utah Jazz. He is now finally healthy and ready to play. Richie Frahm was relieved that the Bobcats selected him from Seattle, making him a free agent. He is now signing with the Portland Trail Blazers. Meanwhile, two non-free-agents the Bobcats kept, Gerald Wallace and Melvin Ely, are not relieved at all. Instead, they are bitter at their old teams, and Charlotte GM/coach Bernie Bickerstaff wants them to relax their worries and be happy.

"I don't want them to be vindictive," explained Bickerstaff toThe Charlotte Observer. In response to hearing those two players say they want to prove something to their old team, Bickerstaff wisely asked, "What happens after you prove it?" It's one thing to hold a grudge but quite another to only play your best until your previous team capitulates and admits it was a mistake letting you go. The psychology, Bickerstaff likely worries, might then cause you to stop trying, your goal accomplished.

Nevertheless, the Bobcats were able to make some people very happy. Frahm played on the Blazers summer league team (read a one-on-one interview between him and editor Nathan Bishop here) and yesterday signed a one-year deal with the team. Borchardt's wrist is healed, he has declared himself to be 100 percent, and he is ready to give it another go with the Jazz, after missing nearly all of his first two seasons.

Don't worry Bobcats, and don't worry Bobcats fans. This year will not be the year they win the championship. It will be the year they acquire and develop the pieces that they will eventually trade for the players who will help bring them into contention. But some of the players will be the same. Will you be able to spot who that will be?

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 tonight, 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

Rick Bonnell ofThe Charlotte Observer notes: Bickerstaff will play Primoz Brezec, Jason Kapono and Ely in Salt Lake City after using Kapono, Wallace and Tamar Slay in the Minnesota summer league. Bickerstaff said he'd delay signing Corey Benjamin so Benjamin can also play in Salt Lake City. Center/forward Jamal Sampson (ankle) and Brandon Hunter (knee) will skip summer league because of injuries. Both practiced this week and Sampson will fly to Salt Lake City to work with team trainers.


The Associated Press writes inThe Mercury News: The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard Richie Frahm to a one-year contract Thursday, adding an outside shooter to their roster... Frahm, 26, who played at Gonzaga, was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the recent expansion draft. The Bobcats later released him.

Rick Bonnell ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: Two players the Bobcats acquired -- Gerald Wallace from the Sacramento Kings and Melvin Ely from the Los Angeles Clippers -- say they resent their old teams for underutilizing them.Both are former first-round picks. Bickerstaff wants his players to move on -- to be hungry, but not be bitter.

Phil Miller ofThe Salt Lake Tribunewrites: Utah didn't protect Borchardt from being selected by Charlotte in the expansion draft, so there was a bit of nervousness to endure last month.But the Bobcats chose Sasha Pavlovic instead. "I'm going to miss him. Sasha was a great guy," Borchardt said. "But I'm glad I'm still here."