Continued from page 1

Kwame Brown is sidelined for at least a month with a sprained ankle as he tries to find a secure spot in the league after failing to live up to expectations. And Livingston was sidelined from Wednesday morning’s practice as he continues a long road back from tearing three ligaments and dislocating his kneecap in a 2007 game.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Livingston said. “The situation is a blessing for me considering my role the past couple years.”

Sure, the group has some issues, but Jackson thinks it might even give the Bobcats an edge.

“The guys who took the long road or have been through ups and downs, they play harder and they want it more,” Jackson said. “They feel like they have something to prove.”

Brown clearly relishes the challenge. He talked proudly Wednesday of going to the NBA finals with Philadelphia in 2001 with Allen Iverson and an unheralded cast of George Lynch, Eric Snow, Tyrone Hill, Theo Ratliff and Aaron McKie.

Brown has said countless times that he’s not afraid of coaching anyone after working with Iverson. And he’s still not afraid to take on big projects.

“When I see Darius and when I see Javaris and I see Kwame Brown, Stephen Jackson, that’s the greatest,” Brown said. “They help you and as a coach you feel like you helped them. I don’t think it gets any better than that.”

Notes: F Tyrus Thomas was sidelined Wednesday with a sore right ankle. … Jackson has been impressed with PG D.J. Augustin early in camp. “D.J. is starting to take control of this team,” Jackson said. “He’s speaking in the huddles now. He’s taken more of a leadership role on this team.” … Ex-76ers coach Eddie Jordan, a friend of Brown, has been on the floor doing some coaching. “I’ve always tried to help guys who have lost their job,” Brown said. “I think it’s important.”