Basketball

Jordan sees Dudley as 8th or 9th in rotation

Noting the sports world:

Michael Jordan had so much to say in my exclusive 30-minute interview with him Friday that I keep coming across tidbits that haven't gotten into the newspaper because of limited space. Here are three you might find interesting.

MJ on Bobcats forward Jared Dudley: “Ultimately … I'd love for Jared to be our eighth, ninth, 10th guy. But now he's starting for us. That's a little bit out of whack. He's doing a lot. He's doing a great job. Don't get me wrong.”

MJ on Adam Morrison, whom Jordan selected with the No.3 overall draft pick in 2006: “I know a bunch of people say that's a bad pick for us. I don't think so yet. It's too early. … I'm going to stick with Adam. He has a basketball IQ and a passion for the game.”

MJ on not playing basketball anymore but still talking trash: “I can talk a good game. Sometimes I do a lot of talking with Gerald (Wallace) or some of the guys, and I think that's healthy for me. … How many times have you heard old people say they can do this or that? I'm no different.”

I've never seen Jake Delhomme throw the ball worse than he did Sunday with that four-interception clunker in a 17-6 win at Oakland. It felt like watching Jeff Lewis or David Carr.

Here's my prediction for Sunday against 0-9 Detroit: three touchdown passes in a 34-14 victory. Delhomme almost always rebounds well from bad games, and Detroit is 31st in the NFL in total defense.

I watched Sunday's game at home with a DVR. Normally, when I do that, I fast-forward right past all Panthers punt and kickoff returns. It's a habit I picked up once Steve Smith stopped running back kicks regularly – who wants to see another 21-yard kickoff return?

But Mark Jones made me regret that decision twice Sunday. Now Jones just needs to try to run through the kicker next time rather than running out of bounds.

NASCAR just can't catch a break in its championship chase. The Homestead, Fla., race seems more like the Pro Bowl than the Super Bowl every year – the anti-climax to the season instead of the climax. With Jimmie Johnson needing only to finish 36th in Homestead on Sunday to win his third straight title, that's what it will be once again.

Even if Homestead is a snoozer as expected, Sunday will be quite a sports day around here. The Panthers play at 1p.m., the Charlotte Bobcats at 5:30p.m. and the Charlotte 49ers basketball team at 6p.m. – all at home.

After watching 20th-ranked Davidson practice last week, I think two players will have a lot of impact that most folks don't know much about. One is Bryant Barr, a streaky shooter from Maine who is about to get a ton of open 3-point looks with Stephen Curry at point guard. The other: Ben Allison, a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman who looks tough and aggressive on a team that really needs his height.

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