“I didn’t get much playing time in Charlotte,” he said. “I’m looking at this as a new beginning. There’s a lot of great players on this team and I’m looking forward to playing for a winning organization.” Vonleh, 19, was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but barely got an opportunity with the Hornets, averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in just 25 games. He missed training camp with a sports hernia and had to play catch up from the beginning, trapped behind Charlotte’s glut of veteran bigs. “Missing training camp was tough. I was rehabbing pretty much the whole time so I wasn’t able to watch practice too much,” Vonleh explained. “When I got back it was kind of tough being a little behind.”
You don’t poke a sleeping bear. In 1999, between Michael Jordan’s second and third retirements, Chicago Bulls guard Corey Benjamin learned that the hard way. Skip Bayless, writing for the Chicago Tribune at the time, reported that Benjamin had issued an “ill-advised challenge” to His Airness. Jordan relentlessly abused the youngster, scoring on him with ease and talking all kinds of trash along the way. At one point, MJ told Benjamin exactly what he was going to do. “I’m going right back over there. C’mon, follow me. … You reach, I teach.” Turnaround jumper—cash.