May wants to play for Bobcats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With two lottery picks in the NBA draft, Sean May figures the Charlotte Bobcats can’t avoid selecting a North Carolina player.
May, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four after leading North Carolina to the NCAA championship, wants it to be him.
“I think it would be good for the franchise to have a Carolina basketball player here, especially someone the fans can relate to since they have seen them play the last few years,” May said today. “What other great person can that be besides me?”
May, who won Indiana’s 2002 Mr. Basketball award as a player at Bloomington North, said he gave Charlotte’s assistant coaches the same message over dinner and planned to tell coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
Charlotte has the Nos. 5 and 13 picks in the draft. May isn’t projected to be selected much earlier than ninth.
“I would be willing to drop to 13 to come here,” he said. “This for me would be my ideal spot just because it is Carolina and what North Carolina University has meant to me and what this state means to me. For me to come here and help another team in the state of Carolina would be a blessing.”
The Bobcats aren’t focused on selecting a player from one of its in state schools. But there’s plenty to choose from, starting with North Carolina forward Marvin Williams, the player many believe is Charlotte’s first choice.
They also need a point guard, and are interested in Wake Forest’s Chris Paul and North Carolina’s Raymond Felton.
May, whose father Scott played on Indiana’s 1976 NCAA championship team, expects the Carolina trio to be selected within the first 15 picks, increasing Charlotte’s odds of getting a Tar Heel.
“I told (the coaches) they’ve got five and 13, two lottery picks, and with the talk of us three guys going in the top 15, they’ve got to take one,” May said. “I can’t see it not happening.”
Bickerstaff insists he’s looking only for the best available players. But when pressed if having a local tie would give a player an edge, he relented.
“All things being equal, I would say ‘Yes,’ “ Bickerstaff said. “That’s the intelligent thing to do. But they would have to be equal.”
May says he would complement Charlotte forward Emeka Okafor, the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. He has already figured what defenses Charlotte could play with both of them on the floor at the same time, and said he’s also willing to sit behind Okafor to watch and learn for a few years.
“Emeka and I could play together,” he said. “We both are tremendous rebounders. That is one thing I am going to do and have done my entire career is rebound the basketball.”
Also, May said he would have stayed at North Carolina for his senior season if Williams and Felton had not also left for the NBA. Two months ago he contended their departure had nothing to do with his decision.
“Raymond left, which was the catalyst. I thought my production on the floor would be a lot harder without him out there,” May said. “If Ray and Marv would have stayed, I definitely would have stayed because I felt like we would have had a chance to repeat.”