Basketball News Services
The Charlotte Bobcats finished the Rocky Mountain Revue with a 4-2 record, good for third place. The winner of the summer league was Denver, who went undefeated 5-0. But the winner as far as Charlotte was concerned was Jason Kapono, who was named the league's MVP.
Kapono led all Bobcats in scoring with 16.1 points per game, and was the third-most prolific scorer in the league. He was also the fourth-best shooter from downtown and from the charity stripe.
Other Bobcats were impressive as well. Primoz Brezec and Loren Woods were second and third, respectively, with 14.5 and 14.0 points per game. Brezec led all Bobcats with 40 total rebounds though he only played in six out of the seven possible games. His 6.6 rebounds per game average was fifth-best in the league.
Omar Cook found his way to the tops of several leaderboards. He averaged 5.0 assists per game to tie for first in that category. He was also third with 2.0 steals per game. On a per-48-minute basis, Cook would be dishing out 10.7 assists.
For all team stats, click hereand page down once.
Tracy Graven reports the following quote from Larry Brown during his conference call last Thursday:
Q: How do you see Emeka Okafor fitting in, and is it difficult for a young player with only college experience to come in to this thing?
Brown: I think it's always difficult for young players to make an adjustment to our game. He's played in international competition. He played last summer and did extremely well.We need big people. We need defenders and rebounders, and I think that's what he does and he does it well.I think he'll be fine. He'll be playing alongside some guys that will take a lot of pressure off of him. As a coaching staff, I'm hopeful we won't ask him to do things that aren't easy for him. The fact that he's played in these competitions before should help him.
Scott Fowler ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: The player the Bobcats will build their franchise around might earn both ring and medal in five months. Although Okafor is the only player on the Olympic roster without NBA experience and almost certainly won't start in Greece, he should see significant playing time because the squad doesn't have that many big men. The best-case basketball scenario for Okafor in Athens: America wins. Okafor shows he belongs in practice against teammates like Tim Duncan and in games against opponents like Yao Ming. Okafor then rides that red, white and blue wave into November, leading the Bobcats to a better-than-expected inaugural record. Worst-case basketball scenario? America loses. That's possible -- even though the U.S. career record of 109-2 in Olympic men's basketball (with losses to the Soviet Union in 1972 and 1988) would suggest otherwise. Okafor doesn't play well. And, worst of all, Okafor gets hurt. The Bobcats rookie tweaks his back or rolls an ankle and misses substantial practice time and the beginning of the team's first season, realizing the nightmare of coach/general manager Bernie Bickerstaff. Somewhere in between likely lies the reality for Okafor and his Olympics teammates.
Staff and wire reports atThe Charlotte Observerwere used to write: The Bobcats routed the host Utah Jazz in Charlotte's final game at the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league.Primoz Brezec scored 21 and grabbed 10 rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting and the Bobcats defeated the Jazz 80-63. Charlotte shot 77 percent and led 25-11 at the end of the first quarter. The Bobcats led by as many as 23 points in the second quarter and scored 28 points off 21 Utah turnovers for the game. Melvin Ely scored 19 and had seven rebounds, and Keith Carter contributed 15 points off the bench.
Sekou Smith ofThe Indianapolis Starwrites: Former Ball State and Delta High School standout Patrick Jackson has made an impression here with the Charlotte Bobcats.Jackson, who was working for a pharmaceutical company in Muncie, Ind., when he received a call from Bobcats general manager and coach Bernie Bickerstaff to attend an open tryout, has played well in limited minutes. He was averaging 3.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists going into Friday night's game. Jackson certainly has impressed one teammate, former Pacers center Primoz Brezec. "I love the little guy, the way he gets up and down the floor so fast," Brezec said. "Plus, he's from Indiana, so I've got to show him some love."
Don Steinberg ofThe Charlotte Observerwrites: The Charlotte Bobcats can offer fans the novelty of cheering a brand-new team.Charlotte didn't support the Hornets, who fled the town in 2002. Will an ownership change make the city like the NBA better this time? That's certainly part of the marketing plan: Bobcats owners include the rapper Nelly, and hip-hop connections are going to be a big component of the team's push.
Jerry Snow ofThe Enquirer-Journalwrites: When the Charlotte Bobcats drafted Emeka Okafor with the second over pick last month, he was instantly tabbed a cornerstone for the expansion franchise. A 6-foot-10 athlete who is much more advanced defensively, Okafor has a better chance of becoming a Ben Wallace type than a prolific inside scorer. So the search is on for low post offense, and Loren Woods is hoping to be that guy. At 7-foot-2, Woods is the tallest Bobcat.And even though he has three years of NBA experience, he's one of the last players hit the showers after practice. Instead, Woods puts in extra time, working on his jump hooks, free throws and even sharpening his footwork on the pick and roll.