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Michael Zordich was injured on his first play in the first exhibition of his rookie season with the Carolina Panthers. After a year in limbo, he’s ready for another chance.

For most of his 10-year NFL career, Travelle Wharton played one of the most anonymous positions on the field – offensive line. Tuesday, Wharton got his due and his day. At age 33, he officially retired in front of a packed room of Panthers players and officials.

Observations from Carolina Panthers camp, including notes on Kelvin Benjamin, Melvin White, Cam Newton, Carrington Byndom and the wide receivers.

Lance Stephenson could be on the cusp of becoming the all-star that Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan imagined former Duke star Gerald Henderson might become.

The best-case scenario is Stephenson becomes Charlotte’s version of Dennis Rodman for the Chicago Bulls in the late 1990s – a bizarre personality, but so effective on those Bulls title teams that they kept him around and let Dennis be Dennis.

Ultimately, no one came out of Greg Hardy’s one-day “he-said, she-said” trial looking really good. But Hardy, by far, got the worst of it.

Have the Charlotte Hornets gotten any better since free agency began last Thursday? In a word, no, but maybe they eventually will.

After four years with the Miami Heat, LeBron James comes home to the state where he first drew national attention in high school and then began his sterling NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the only place he could go to close the circle.

Here’s where we should start if the Charlotte Hornets don’t get Utah’s Gordon Hayward: Not Lance Stephenson.

Is Gordon Hayward really worth the “max contract” the Charlotte Hornets have offered him? Yes and no. But this obvious overpayment is about the only way in the NBA that you can get a guy who averaged 16 points, five assists and five rebounds last season with the Utah Jazz and is healthy and only 24 years old.

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Scott Fowler is a national award-winning sports columnist for The Charlotte Observer.
CharlotteObserver.com