Bobcats coach Larry Brown talks with Emeka Okafor on the bench during the first half against the Bulls on Tuesday night in Charlotte, N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When Michael Jordan sat courtside at the Charlotte Bobcats' first two home games this season, coach Larry Brown talked about how valuable it was to have his players experience Jordan's presence.
Since then, Jordan's attendance hasn't been frequent. Asked how many times the Bulls legend, whose official title with the Bobcats is managing member of basketball operations, has been around since the opening week, Brown struggled for an answer.
"He watches every game," Brown said. "I can always call him. But I have Rod (Higgins) here, I have Buzz (Peterson) here. They're in constant contact with him."
Even so, Brown stressed that he's a fan of Jordan's leadership, whether he's absent or not. In fact, Brown listed Jordan as the reason he's coaching the Bobcats and not Stanford.
"I came here because of Michael. No other reason," Brown said. "He's the best. I've always admired him, I always liked him personally. I thought it would be a wonderful thing to work with somebody like him. It hasn't changed.
"I'm not disappointed in what's happened thus far in my relationship with him. I know we'll get this thing done."
Out of town MJ: When Larry Brown coached in Detroit, he said general manager Joe Dumars was at every practice. His boss in Charlotte, Michael Jordan, is rarely in town, but Brown believes they work well together.
"I don't see him as much on a daily basis, but he's every bit as involved," Brown said before Tuesday's game. "I talk to him a lot. I value his opinion. He's always throwing things at me without making me feel like he's trying to coach.
"And when he is around here, it's great. The guys have so much respect for him, I wish he was around all the time. Obviously, he has other things. But I'm in constant contact with him. It's the only way you can be successful - coach and GM or president - you have to be connected at the hip."
Thumbs up for Hinrich: Kirk Hinrich is headed to the doctor today and may have a pin removed from his surgically-repaired right thumb. Or it could stay in. Hinrich said he expected to have it taken out about 10 days ago, but the doctor decided it needed more time.
Bull horns: Andres Nocioni was listed as questionable heading into the game with mid-back spasms. He played and missed his first 4 shots until sticking a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter - Joakim Noah joined Luol Deng and Larry Hughes on the "feeling under the weather" list. Deng said he's battled a stomach flu but felt OK on Tuesday.