Kings face-off with Captain Jack, new look Bobcats


Kings face-off with Captain Jack, new look Bobcats

Feb. 25, 2011KINGS (14-41) vs.

Coverage begins at 4pm on Comcast SportsNet California

(AP) -- With owner Michael Jordan participating in drills during practice and sitting courtside come game time, the Charlotte Bobcats know they are expected to play at a high level.If they're going to meet those expectations and advance to the playoffs for the second straight season, they will have to do so without Gerald Wallace.A day after Wallace and backup center Nazr Mohammed were traded in separate deals, the Bobcats will try to win their third straight at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night when they face the Sacramento Kings.Despite turning 48 last Thursday, Jordan has been spending more time recently as a participant in practices. He may have lost a few steps since his last NBA game nearly eight years ago, but the Hall of Fame guard has not lost his competitiveness."Mike is winning some of our drills ... and I lay in on (the guys), 'How you going to let this man come out and beat you guys?'" coach Paul Silas said. "It's fun. They're into it, and that's what's most important is that they're buying in."A 114-101 victory over Toronto on Tuesday left a smile on Jordan's face as the Bobcats began the unofficial second half of the season with their third win in four games.Following Wednesday's practice, Wallace talked about how pleased he was with the team's intensity, but the veteran forward, who averaged 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in six-plus seasons with the club, won't be with the Bobcats (25-32) as they try to catch Indiana for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.Wallace was sent to Portland before Thursday's trade deadline for center Joel Przybilla, forward Dante Cunningham and two first-round picks.Charlotte traded Mohammed to Oklahoma City for forward D.J. White and guard Morris Peterson.Sacramento (14-41) could have guard Marcus Thornton available after acquiring him from New Orleans on Wednesday for forward Carl Landry.Thornton could back up second-year player Jermaine Taylor, who is making the most of his opportunity with Tyreke Evans sidelined at least three weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.Taylor, acquired from Houston in December for a second-round pick, is averaging 17.0 points and shooting 21 of 35 from the field while starting the last three games. He scored a career-high 21 points in Wednesday's 111-105 victory at Orlando."(Evans' injury) is not something you want to see, but it's the NBA. It happens," Taylor said. "As long as I'm in the starting spot, I'm going to take advantage of it and go out there and have fun and play."The Kings, who will be trying to win two straight for the first time since Jan. 28-29, have dropped five in a row against Charlotte and are 1-5 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena.Bobcats leading scorer Stephen Jackson, who had a team-high 21 points in a 94-89 victory in Sacramento on Jan. 25, is expected to play after leaving Tuesday's game with a strained left hamstring.

For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

For Draymond Green, protests can't be short-lived: 'We're screwed' if they end soon

OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.

There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward’s tone was relatively relaxed.

Not until the next several questions, all related to America’s polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green’s heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.

“I hope not,” Green said. “If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again.

“So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.”

Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.

He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.

But he’s very familiar with the subject matter.

“You just have to stand for what you believe in,” Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. “What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in.”

Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the “utmost respect” for those in the military.

“I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military,” he said. “It’s not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do.”

It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.

That’s why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.

“I’m not saying kneeling shouldn’t be gone,” Green said. “But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it’s gone in a few weeks, we’re screwed.”

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

Giants lineup: Pence leading off, lefties back in against D'backs

After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.

Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Arizona Diamondbacks:
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P