- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2008


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott arrived for his team’s shootaround Tuesday morning, he was in familiar territory.

From 2003 to 2006, Tapscott served as team president of the organization that had been awarded to BET founder Bob Johnson and later was named the Charlotte Bobcats. Johnson hired Tapscott to handle every aspect of building the franchise from scratch.

Tapscott’s first day on the job began with him dressed in a business suit, sitting on the floor in an empty office, planning and burning up his cell phone minutes by calling potential employees.

Tapscott had a hand in hiring every employee, designing the team’s logo and color scheme and drafting its players. He also was charged by the city of Charlotte to oversee the interior architecture of the 19,026-seat, $265 million arena the team plays in.

“There are some tweaks that I take personally in this building — most of them on the basketball level but a few of them upstairs as well,” he chuckled.

Tapscott left in 2006 after Michael Jordan came on board as co-owner. The following season, he landed in his hometown as director of player development for the Wizards and has been back to this arena since his departure, but Tuesday marked the first time as coach of a team.

“It’s always nice to be back in Charlotte to see friends,” Tapscott said. “It’s always nice to be back in this building. I like this building. I’m sort of partial to it, but I hope it’s friendly to us.”


“I would tell him to just play his game and don’t blow the intro. This will be the first time they call his name, so don’t forget to run out there. … I’ll be standing next to him when the intro happens and just kick him so he doesn’t forget.”

— Interim coach Ed Tapscott on his pregame advice to second-year small forward Dominic McGuire, who made his first start of the season and second of his career


8 Different starting lineups used by the Wizards this season, the latest of which had Dominic McGuire, Andray Blatche and Antawn Jamison in the frontcourt and Caron Butler — previously the starting small forward — and Mike James in the backcourt.

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