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Nets @ Bobcats: Friday, February 8th

By Matt McQueeny,

Rod Thorn: The Man Who Drafted Michael Jordan
Nets Look for Redemption in Charlotte

Rod Thorn: The Man Who Drafted Michael Jordan
Updated 6:00PM 2/7/08

The game against Charlotte should see at least a handshake, and possibly a little small talk, between Nets President Rod Thorn and Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations - and probably the NBAs greatest player - Michael Jordan.

Back in 1984 Thorn was the General Manager of the Chicago Bulls and chose Jordan with the third pick in that NBA Draft.

Rod Thorn, then GM of the Chicago Bulls, getting the signature of the Bulls' Number 3 Pick in the 1984 Draft, Michael Jordan.

We had (Hakeem) Olajuwon rated one, (Michael) Jordan two, (Sam) Perkins three, said Thorn, speaking before this years draft.

(Sam) Bowie was the guy that we didnt have ranked highly because of his injury. We felt he was a real risk, injury-wise so we had him rated down the line.

Olajuwon went Number 1 to Houston; Bowie went number 2 to Portland; and Thorn nabbed the player who eventually won six NBA championships for the Bulls.

Anybody picking would have taken Hakeem Olajuwon if he were available, Thorn admitted to two summers ago. Jordan was our second choice.

Fortunately for us, Portland took Sam Bowie because they needed a big player and they already had Jim Paxson and Clyde Drexler on their team so they didnt need another wing player. So it worked out for us,

Thorn did not have the opportunity to enjoy the dominance that the player he drafted bestowed upon the franchise as he was out of the position a year after that 84 Draft.

But being the man who drafted the Michael Jordan is something that will always stick.

Nets Look for Redemption in Charlotte
Updated 4:00PM 2/7/08

Following a 100-84 loss in Orlando on Wednesday, The Nets look to end a three-game losing streak in Charlotte on Friday night.

The last time they went into Charlotte, New Jersey was riding as high as its been this season. Winners of five in a row and six of seven, the Nets stood a game above .500 (17-16).

Then the Nets lost to the Bobcats 115-99, and let Charlotte shoot 59 percent for the game. While they came home a night later and beat the young Seattle Supersonics at IZOD Center, time has shown that the current stretch of sub par play basically started with that Bobcat defeat.

Including that loss on January 8th, the Nets are 3-13 since.

On Wednesday night in Orlando, the Nets started out the game leading 15-4, 17-6, and 30-22 before the floodgates opened for the Magic.

I think when things were going well for us we were good, said Coach Lawrence Frank following the game.

Then we hit some rough patches in adversity and we wilted.

I think we had real good intent. We forced them to call an early timeout at 5-0 and put them in a situation where they had mass substitutions with their energy guys. We didnt finish the quarters very well which hurt us in a bad way. We didnt start the third quarter very well and just had a stretch where we had some uncontested shots we couldnt make and yet we couldnt dig in a little bit deeper defensively. We just have to deal with adversity better. Theres got to be a little bit more to us. A little bit more substance, a little bit more fight, a little bit more investment to not put ourselves where all of a sudden, with some defensive mistakes and lapses, and now its 19-20 (down). It was discouraging because we had very good intent early. That ball was moving, we did a good job in transition, guarded well in the half court, but we couldnt sustain it.

Dwight Howard had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Magic hit 10 threes as a team.

The only ones who are going to help us are ourselves, said Frank. We cant wait for anything else and we have to expect a whole lot more from each other and we have to band together to fight that much harder. We have to show some more fight. We have it within us. We show it when times are going well we look like a pretty good team. But its over the 48 (minutes), over the course of the 48 dealing with the different adversities that occur during the course of the game.

Each guy on the floor has a responsibility, said Vince Carter (18 points).

All we ask is to put more fight and see it through. We can all completely do that.

The big thing is for us to stay positive and keep working, noted Jason Kidd, who had 13 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.

We need to find a way and if we cant our season will come to an end early. The crazy thing about the East is that I think we started in the eighth spot tonight, so we are right there. We still have a chance to make the playoffs.

Hes right: at 20-29, the Nets are hovering right around that eighth seed. And with a win on Friday night they can create some positive momentum in the place where this tough streak began.

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