WILMINGTON Charlotte Bobcats center Emeka Okafor doesn't sound particularly concerned by lower back soreness that kept him out of Sunday's intra-squad scrimmage at UNC Wilmington.
He said he landed awkwardly in a practice last week.
“I started feeling it Thursday. It was starting to hurt a little bit more, so I figured I better get it to calm down before it becomes an issue,” Okafor told the Observer.
“It's at the very beginning. That's why I nipped it at the bud. I don't see it being an issue.”
Okafor needed back surgery while playing for Connecticut, but said this is a muscular – not a spinal injury, so he's not concerned.
NO LEAD ASSISTANT
If Bobcats coach Larry Brown is ejected from a game this season – and that doesn't happen often – his replacement will be …
Brown has five assistants, and none is designated the “lead” assistant, as is the norm on most NBA staffs. Brown, who's coached more than 1,800 NBA games, said that's been his longtime policy.
“I'm hopeful that if somebody calls me, wanting to know if anybody (on the staff) is worthy of being a head coach, I can say they all are,” he said. “They all have the same responsibilities.”
“If I get tossed – which I hope won't happen – we usually have a progression (of authority), but it would hopefully be that guy who scouted that” opponent.
Among the five assistants, Brown's brother Herb has the most experience (he coached the Detroit Pistons in 1976-78), and LaSalle Thompson (the big-man specialist) is a rookie coach.