Gerald Wallace will endear himself to the new staff with his high energy and willingness to defend.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Bobcats had more and a greater percentage of their shots blocked than any other team last season -- 476 of their 6,554 field goal tries (7.3 percent). Over the last four years, they have had an NBA-high 1,800 shots blocked.
Record: 32-50 (12th in East) Points scored: 97.1 (19th in NBA) Points allowed: 101.4 (20th)
Why would Larry Brown come back to coach this club? Seemingly for all the right reasons
Larry Brown just couldn't quit coaching. In Philadelphia last season,as executive vice president of the 76ers, he spent three days a week watchingVillanova practices and scribbling thoughts for the staff. "As I made my nextpractice schedule," says Wildcats coach Jay Wright, "I would look back on hisnotes."
So it wasn't a surprise when Brown, 68, answered fellow North Carolina alumMichael Jordan's call to take over the fifth-year Bobcats -- even though heprobably won't be around long enough to see the building project completed. Forplayers the difference from last season, under rookie coach Sam Vincent, ispalpable. "Coach Brown and his staff have been on a championship team, sothey're obviously pushing us a lot more because they know what it takes to getthere," says three-point specialist Matt Carroll. "That's what we wanthere."
Only five members of the team have more than three years' experience, whichmeans that Brown's specialty -- teaching -- will be put to good use. "You tape [yourankles] for shootarounds now," says forward Sean May. "For him it's like afull-fledged practice."
With a team that has never won more than 33 games, lacks size, needsleadership at point guard and has two key players (May and forward AdamMorrison) returning from knee injuries, Brown, who last coached the disastrousKnicks in 2005-06, has his work cut out for him. But at least it will be a laborof love. "At his age he could easily retire and live life and have fun," saysMay. "His passion for basketball is what I love about him." -- Elizabeth McGarr
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