Around the NBA

BOBCATS: Part-owner Michael Jordan says he's disappointed with Charlotte's record this season and vows that management will "spend what it takes" to attract top talent in the off-season.

In a letter to be mailed to season ticket holders this week, Jordan went into detail about the state of the team for the first time since he bought a minority stake last June and was given final say in all personnel decisions.

The Bobcats are 19-33 this season - last in their division and fourth worst in the Eastern Conference.

"As excited as I am about the future, if you know anything about me, you know how much I hate to lose - and I speak for all the owners in that regard," wrote Jordan, the team's managing member of basketball operations. "But we are able to temper this disappointment with thoughts of our youth and inexperience, and the idea that we will continue to improve - hopefully, more quickly than even we expect.

"With that said, we remain committed to our plan to grow the franchise through the draft and the addition of key free agents."

Jordan did applaud moves made before he arrived - including the drafting of Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton and Sean May.

Jordan also believes Adam Morrison will develop into a solid NBA scorer despite shooting woes this season.

SUNS: After testing his sore right shoulder in practice on Monday, point guard Steve Nash said he hopes to return to the lineup when the Suns visit the Los Angeles Clippers tonight.

"I didn't feel any setbacks, and hopefully if it feels good tomorrow morning and again tomorrow night, I'll give it a shot," he said.

Nash said the shoulder isn't as strong or flexible as he'd like. But he doesn't believe he's risking a longer-term injury by playing tonight.

CAVALIERS: LeBron James couldn't leave Las Vegas without making one last creative move - off the court.

Cleveland's All-Star forward capped a glitzy few days of party hopping and hoops by teaming with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN to launch, a storybook style Web site about his life designed for kids and teens.

In addition to broadening his iconic image through his latest business venture, James is hoping the innovative Web site will motivate youngsters worldwide with positive messages of encouragement and his own story of perseverance.




With the All-Star extravaganza over, the nominal second half of the season begins tonight. Fresh off a solid All-Star appearance, Joe Johnson (12 points) leads Atlanta into Chicago.

The Hawks face the Bulls for the third of four times this season.

Atlanta has dropped both games to Chicago this season and nine in a row overall.

The Hawks have won six of their past seven on the road since falling to the Bulls, 94-86 in Chicago on Jan. 23. Chicago won the other meeting, 106-104 at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Dec. 16.

NEXT: at Chicago Bulls, 8:30 tonight

TV: Fox Sports Net South

RECORD: 20-31


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