Playing for your hometown team or signing with a title contender to finish out your career? That could be the decision Antawn Jamison will soon face.
Jamison, an unrestricted free agent, grew up in Charlotte and still calls it home. He’ll meet with Bobcats executives Rod Higgins and Rich Cho Thursday night over dinner, a source confirms, to discuss possibly signing here.
The alternative for the 14-year NBA veteran is finding a team with the chance to win a title in the remaining two or three seasons Jamison plans to play.
Jamison was traveling Tuesday and unavailable for comment. But he told the Observer in January he’s intrigued by the prospect of playing for the Bobcats. Jamison’s family lives year-round in Charlotte, as he chose not to uproot young children during his last three seasons as a Cleveland Cavalier.
“That’s always been a dream of mine – to be home. To have my parents there (at home games), to have my kids there,” said Jamison, whose children were 6 and 2 at the time of that January interview. “Having the kids come to the games with me all the time? That would be great.”
But so would finishing out his career with a chance to win a championship. Jamison could be a complementary player on a contender, and he certainly has enough money that he could take less to fit into a great team’s payroll.
Yahoo Sports first reported the Bobcats had scheduled a meeting with Jamison. He’s already familiar with the practice facilities at Time Warner Cable Arena, as he’s played pick-up games there to tune up for the preseason.
Jamison would seemingly fill a need the Bobcats have identified – a veteran presence to oversee young players, but also someone who can still play effectively. Jamison averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds last season.
Bobcats vice chairman Curtis Polk was asked last month for various ways the team might use its cap space. Polk’s description seemed to match Jamison’s reputation.
“A really classy guy who could also be a teacher and mentor. And he comes here for two years at $5 million a year,” Polk told the Observer. “And then we get the (cap) room back after that.”
Jamison (6-foot-8, 223 pounds) has played both small forward and power forward over his NBA career. He grew up in Charlotte, starring at Providence High before moving on to North Carolina. He was drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in 1998, then quickly traded to the Golden State Warriors.
While Jamison was productive last season, his field-goal percentage has declined. Three seasons ago he shot 48.5 percent from the field. Last season he shot a career-low 40.3 percent.
Jamison has played for four NBA franchises. He was with the Warriors his first five NBA seasons, before one season as sixth man for a Dallas Mavericks team that won 52 games.
Jamison then spent six seasons with the Washington Wizards. Four of his five seasons averaging 20 or more points were in Washington. He was dealt to Cleveland in 2009 in one of several attempts by Cavs management to surround LeBron James with talent before James left for the Miami Heat.
Former Charlotte Hornet Stacey Augmon is under consideration for one of new coach Mike Dunlap’s assistant spots. A defensive specialist at UNLV and in the NBA, Augmon was so rangy and limber, he had the nickname “Plastic Man.”
• It was previously reported Rick Brunson is leaving the Chicago Bulls coaching staff to join Dunlap. Dunlap once coached Brunson in the Australian pro league. Stephen Silas might end up a holdover from the previous Bobcats coaching staff.