New coach Vincent, Bobcats get right to work Print
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Monday, 28 May 2007 20:59
NBA Headline News

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Sam Vincent likes to brag that he doesn't take time off - and he didn't while toiling in basketball's minor leagues.
``When my D-League season has been over, I coached international ball,'' Vincent said. ``I'm from the school that you continue to get better for 12 months.''
That work ethic will come in handy as the Charlotte Bobcats' rookie coach prepares for a busy first month that will culminate with the NBA draft on June 28.
Vincent was to join executive vice president Bernie Bickerstaff and team scouts in Orlando on Tuesday for the predraft camp. Then, the Bobcats will work out as many as 22 players to prepare for the draft, where Charlotte holds the eighth and 22nd picks.
Vincent also has to hire his assistant coaches - and figure out how his first team will play.
``We know what the team has looked like the first three years. But are we going to continue being a running team? Are we going to focus more on half-court offense?'' Vincent said. ``We need to discuss the architectural things of how we want to design the situation. And from there, that's going to lead us into what kind of players we pick in the draft.''
Vincent expects to have ``some input'' in the draft, but the final call rests with part-owner Michael Jordan and Bickerstaff, who took a gamble with Vincent. He has extensive international coaching experience, but his only NBA coaching gig has been as an assistant this past season with Dallas.
Vincent put the bull's-eye on himself at his introductory news conference Friday when he said he ``absolutely, positively'' expects the Bobcats to make the playoffs next season. That would likely hinge on Charlotte re-signing potential free agent Gerald Wallace, making two smart decisions in the draft and perhaps signing a consistent scorer in free agency.
``We would like to find a guy that we believe that can be even more of a go-to guy,'' Vincent said.
``I've seen Gerald Wallace have big games. I've seen Raymond Felton have big games. I know Emeka Okafor can have big games. So that's not to come in and immediately say we don't have guys to go to. But if we can bring in another player, a free agent, that's another go-to guy,'' he said. ``It gives us one more option.''
But first up is the draft, and since the Bobcats also hold Toronto's first-round pick because of a past trade, it will be a busy time. Director of scouting Kenny Williamson said the Bobcats will bring in 20-22 players for individual workouts starting June 5.
``The draft is so deep, so you've got to put them through it and get a feel for the guys and fall in love,'' Bickerstaff said.
The Bobcats need help at center, with Primoz Brezec coming off a poor season. But Bickerstaff thinks there will be an early run on big men such as Brandan Wright, Al Horford and Yi Jianlian - not to mention likely No. 1 pick Greg Oden - before the Bobcats use the eighth pick.
The Bobcats could dangle both picks as trade bait to move up in the draft.
``The one thing we've got, is maybe one team wants two players in a draft like this,'' Bickerstaff said. ``So it's good to have those kind of options, because we bring something to the table in a very deep draft, when you talk about two picks.''
There's plenty to do until draft day, so it sounds like Vincent will be in his element.
``Work ethic has never been a problem for us,'' Bickerstaff said. ``There will be no weekends off. I personally like it, because we can get after it now.''
 

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