ASHEVILLE Sunday wont just be the first NBA game Charlotte Bobcats rookie Jeff Taylor plays, it will be the first one he attends. Or any major league game, for that matter.
Taylor spent four years in Nashville, Tenn., while playing for Vanderbilt. He always planned to see the NFL Titans or NHL Predators, he just never got around to it.
So when the Charlotte Bobcats host the Washington Wizards at 1 p.m. Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena, it will be that much more of a thrill for the players the Bobcats took at the start of the second round.
Very excited and maybe a little nervous, Taylor said Saturday at the conclusion of training camp at UNC Asheville. Being a part of an NBA game will be really special for me and my family especially my dad, who played for the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons.
Taylor seemed particularly stoic for a rookie at his first training camp. He said that appearance is a little deceiving.
I was always told to not show big emotions, that youre rattled, Taylor said. I was definitely confused a couple of times, but Ive been told if you always go hard, you can make up for that.
Gordon dinged: Shooting guard Ben Gordon missed Saturdays practice with a sore right knee, but the Bobcats anticipate him playing in todays exhibition.
Observations: Paris Horne, one of the players in training camp on an unguaranteed contract, is remarkably fast. He might not have complete enough basketball skills to make the team, but he is quite an athlete.
Reggie Williams had a good training camp, and needed to with the glut of shooting guards on the roster. Theres just not enough playing time between Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon, Williams and Matt Carroll.
UNC Asheville did a great job of hosting training camp. The Sherrill Center is well suited to house a week of NBA practice. It seems a given the Bobcats will be back next October.