CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats added an assistant
coach for next season on Tuesday amid concerns Charles Oakley won't
be able to return to the bench because of health issues.
Coach Paul Silas announced former Golden State assistant Rob
Werdann will join his staff. The former St. John's big man who
played briefly in the NBA has also been an assistant in New
"I was told they were going to add a coach and I jumped at the
chance," Werdann said.
Oakley missed the final 13 games last season with a back problem
he claims was caused when he was assaulted at a Las Vegas resort in
May 2010. Oakley has sued the resort and said earlier this month
he's contemplating surgery.
Silas says he still hopes Oakley returns, but needed to make
sure he had at least three assistants next season.
"If he was here now, we probably wouldn't have been looking at
anyone else," Silas said of Oakley. "But since he's going to have
an operation soon and that kind of thing, we had to bring somebody
Oakley, considered one of the NBA's all-time tough guys during
his 18-year playing career, attended some pre-draft workouts as he
visits specialists looking to correct a sciatic nerve problem.
Oakley was absent and Werdann was on the job Tuesday as the
Bobcats held a camp for veteran free agents that included Jawad
Williams, DeMarre Carroll and Garrett Temple. The Bobcats are also
scrambling to get rookie draft picks Bismack Biyombo and Kemba
Walker in for workouts before the possible lockout begins Friday.
Silas said he was also able to talk with Corey Maggette on
Monday and told the newly acquired veteran he'll start at small
forward. Maggette was acquired from Milwaukee last week in a trade
that sent Bobcats top scorer Stephen Jackson to the Bucks.
"I expect a lot of good things from him," Silas said of
Maggette. "He scored 22 points a game for the Clippers one season.
He's gone down from there, but has been on the bench a lot and
playing (the power forward) spot."
Maggette averaged 12 points for Milwaukee in 67 games last
season following an ankle injury that sidelined him early.
"I just think it was a thing there where he thought he was out
of position," Silas said of his struggles with the Bucks. "He
wasn't starting and that's very important to him. He's replacing a
starter and I want to play him at his natural position."