Radio stations are often doing "two-fer" Tuesdays, playing two songs by one artist in a row. I had my own small version of that Tuesday, writing live columns on the Bobcats' Gerald Henderson and new Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
The day began with Henderson -- I was planning on writing about his recent surge anyway. I went to the Charlotte Bobcats' practice Tuesday and talked to the former Duke star, along with new Bobcats coach Paul Silas and teammate Gerald Wallace. Silas already trusts Henderson more than Larry Brown ever did, and you can see that evidence on-court.
That was going to be my only column of the day until the Panthers finalized the deal with Rivera, who impressed me with the intensity he exuded at his 5 p.m. news conference. I hurried to finish up the Henderson story, then bolted over to that news conference (which was a lot bigger success than Jerry Richardson's rambling but informative discourse the week before).
Here's one thing Rivera said that I didn't get into my column about him but that I liked:
"I really firmly believe that you are a role model… You’ve got to carry a bit of responsibility. That’s what we are going to ask of our players, when they are out in this community, that they carry themselves the way Carolina Panthers should carry themselves."
That, to me, sounds like a coach who's not going to brook a lot of nonsense when his players misbehave. The Panthers have been good at taking this approach anyway -- i.e. Dwayne Jarrett being released after his second DWI -- but it's good to see it's going to continue.
I think Rivera can scare a few players into better work habits, and that's definitely needed on a team that went 2-14 in 2010.