Brown prepares to compete with James for backup job

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

In a recent 11-minute Hornets Insider audio chat, Devin Brown said he’s hoping his previous experience as a Hornet will pay off during 2008-09. Brown will be competing with Mike James for minutes at backup point guard, behind Chris Paul. The 6-foot-5 guard started a career-high 49 games for the Hornets in 2006-07.

“I had one of my best years here,” the six-year NBA veteran explained of his decision to sign with New Orleans this summer. “I played some point (guard) when I was here before. I had to handle the ball a lot in San Antonio’s system, and I did a lot of that in Cleveland’s system. It’s a position that I’m comfortable with. It’s about getting people involved and making good decisions. I’m looking forward to the competition and going out there competing every day in practice. We’ll see what happens at the end.”

Ely’s goal: To be first Hornets big man off bench

Backup center Melvin Ely sat down for a 12-minute interview that you can listen to in our Audio section. The 6-foot-10, six-year NBA veteran looks back on 2007-08 and discusses the negative impact his fractured eye socket injury had on his initial season as a Hornet.

“If I wouldn’t have gotten hurt, I think I would have produced more and done more things to help this team,” related Ely, who was out from Dec. 12 to Jan. 9 with the painful injury.

The Fresno State product again will be battling with Hilton Armstrong for minutes off the bench behind Tyson Chandler. To help prepare for the upcoming season, Ely dropped 20 pounds. “I worked my butt off, to be able to come in (to training camp) and run,” Ely said. “My goal is to be the first big man off the bench. I know that to do that, I’m going to have to better than about four other (players).”