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Bobcats bench Gary Neal over ‘internal team matter’

Mar 12, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

source: AP

The Bobcats are a playoff team in the East at the moment, but that position is relatively tenuous.

Every game counts toward that goal, obviously, so willingly sitting down one of your rotation players has to have happened for a good reason.

We don’t yet know exactly what that reason is, but we do know that Gary Neal was held out of Wednesday night’s game against the Wizards for something other than injury.

From Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:

The Charlotte Bobcats chose not to play recently-acquired shooting guard Gary Neal Wednesday in a road game against the Washington Wizards, saying only this was “an internal team matter.”

Neal, who arrived from Milwaukee along with point guard Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline, was coming off his best game as a Bobcat. He made seven of nine shots (including 3-of-3 from 3-point range) for 19 points in Monday’s home victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Neal was in uniform for Wednesday’s game and sat on the Bobcats’ bench, interacting with teammates.  He put up shots in pre-game warmups, so perhaps whatever caused the coaches not to play him was conveyed to him just before tipoff.

Neal has a history of getting into a bit of trouble, most notably in Milwaukee with the team’s poorly-chosen franchise player, Larry Sanders. That led to his being traded, and then having less than kind things to say on his way out of town.

Given Neal’s presence on the sidelines, this may be a relatively minor infraction — missing shootaround, or something of that nature. He’s been an important part of the Bobcats’ rotation since arriving, however, averaging 11.9 points in 25.4 minutes per contest, so hopefully whatever caused the team to react this way will only merit a game’s worth of discipline.

  1. brianjoates - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    So many talented players available, dying to get a chance, teams shouldn’t have to put up with nonsense. Get him a one way MARC ticket on the Camden line and send him back to Baltimore, if he can’t act like a professional.

    • qdog112 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      You have no idea what transpired, but yet, you so easily make outrageous statements. For all you know, he could have been ill and dressed only as an emergency player.

      But I won’t let your lack of knowledge get in your way.

      • brianjoates - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        He has a track record, this season even. Sure he could be ill, he might also have decided to have a late night with a few friends coming down to DC to see him, maybe he didn’t show for shoot around.

        According to Bobcats, Neal did not play due to an internal team issue.
        (Don’t think he had an emergency barf bag at his side tonight).He clearly screwed up somehow.

        Again, point is act like a professional when given this amazing opportunity to play pro ball.

  2. goraidersgospurs - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    He misses TEXAS!!!

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Ben Gordon 2.0, baby!

  4. savvybynature - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    From a Spurs fan, he always seemed like a good dude and popular teammate during his time in San Antonio. Every Spurs fan I know wishes him the best and hopes he succeeds.
    I can’t fault him for going off on the train wreck that is Larry Sanders, let’s hope this was something minor as well.

  5. money2long - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Who was it that went against me in the post about Neal and Larry sanders about earning his money?
    This was when I pointed out he may have been kicked to the curb in San Antonio after I witnessed him get into a verbal spat with coach pop during a timeout. I said I had a feeling he was possibly a problem or something along those lines. U call a duck if it moves like a duck. And this Neal guy is starting to build a rep.

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:57 AM

      Kicking butt and searching for names once again! “OnThe”money2long at it again! lol

      *sidenote* The Bobcats are Balling! D-A-em-en they have been winning me $$$ this season!

      • whoisrdymlz - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        10-4 since the all star break. Those 4 losses were to the Spurs, Thunder, Heat, and Grizzlies. Best kept secret in the NBA.

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Yes sir! You already know!

  6. bigmeechy74 - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Larry Sanders is my least favorite player in the league. He starves and freezes puppies without remorse

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