“Maybe he got in better shape. Maybe he got stronger. But before he got hurt he was playing better than at any time I’ve ever seen,” Brown said. “He tried to defend. He ran the floor and he earned the right to play.”
But Mohammed hurt his back in late February. It took weeks before it was determined to be a nerve problem. Mohammed didn’t play again until April 7, and by then Charlotte had acquired veteran Theo Ratliff, who started at center for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
Then Ratliff wasn’t re-signed and the Bobcats traded Chandler _ who was acquire a year earlier for Okafor _ to Dallas for Erick Dampier. Charlotte initially wanted to waive Dampier and re-sign him, but he declined the offer and Dampier was let go.
That leaves Mohammed, DeSagana Diop and the injured Kwame Brown as Charlotte’s centers. And Larry Brown still isn’t quite sure Mohammed is his guy. He said of Mohammed and Diop this week that “the things that I want a center to do are difficult for them.”
“It’s hard sometimes but at the same time coach respects what I do,” Mohammed said. “He’s told me many, many times he was real happy with how I played last year and I do deserve an opportunity.”
“You keep pushing and don’t just sit over there sulking and bringing the team down, getting out of shape,” Mohammed said. “No one wants to be around a guy like that.”
Notes: Brown canceled Thursday’s evening workout, but had the team go for nearly three hours in the lone practice. … By the time the Bobcats finished Thursday, waterlogged Wilmington had received 21 inches of rain this week. It’s had little affect on the Bobcats except for one thing. “I can’t do my walk,” Brown said. “I’m getting fat.”
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