ASHEVILLE Obviously the Charlotte Bobcats were high on rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a basketball player. They drafted him second overall.
The thing that got less attention was Kidd-Gilchrists likability as a person. Coach Mike Dunlap has seen teammates, like Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, go out of their way to help the rookies transition to the NBA. Dunlap thinks he knows why.
Hes smart with people. Thats where his intelligence is the highest, Dunlap described Friday morning. Hes very humble and thats attractive to our players. When they talk about him, they say they want to take care of him.
I found that was the case at Kentucky he had an average game to a poor game against St. Johns (where Dunlap coached last season), but his teammates always rallied around him. He has whatever it is.
When he got drafted, people would say this or that, that he couldnt shoot or whatever. But across the board, people said this guy will bring a good feel to your locker room and is a tough competitor. Those things arent so sexy, but theyre very attractive to teammates.
Matinee: The Bobcats have their only home exhibition open to the general public, Sunday at 1 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena. They play the Washington Wizards, who now have ex-Bobcat Emeka Okafor, but will be missing star point guard John Wall from Raleigh.
Wall is out all preseason, at least, with a stress reaction in his left knee.
If the games 1 p.m. Sunday tip-off sounds awkward, it was in reaction to the Carolina Panthers playing a 4 p.m. home game.
Going head-to-head with the Panthers made no sense and playing after a late-afternoon Panthers game was no more attractive.
The only other exhibition at TWC is the annual middle-school game, Nov. 25 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Short stuff: Gana Diop, known for occasionally air-balling a free throw, was sent to the foul line in Friday nights practice. If he missed, the whole team would run wind sprints. He swished the free throw Seven-footer Byron Mullens, who made four 3s in Thursdays scrimmage, nailed another one to clinch a team shooting contest that finished Friday practice The Bobcats wrap up training camp at UNC Asheville this morning.