vs. Miami, tomorrow, 7

Comcast SportsNet WAGE-1200, WRC-1260 Still recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot, forward Kwame Brown sprained his left ankle during the morning shootaround Thursday. The ankle was swollen and covered in a heat wrap in the locker room before the game against Charlotte, but Brown said he doesn't expect the injury to keep him from returning before the end of November.

"I should've slowed down," Brown said. "That's how it is when they let you out there for the first time. You're trying to go harder than you're supposed to."

X-rays on the ankle came back negative.

Brown was participating in half-speed, five-on-five drills for the first time when he said he was trying to do a move in the post and landed the foot of teammate Larry Hughes. Coach Eddie Jordan didn't sound too concerned. "I think he's all right," Jordan said. "He's trying to push himself to be involved."

In the meantime, Brown, who just began running last week, said he will slow it down. . . .

Bobcats President Ed Tapscott found it "poignant" that the first franchise he ran would play its first game against a team run by Ernie Grunfeld. In 1991, Tapscott was a Washington-based sports agent when he got a ticket to the ACC tournament in Charlotte. He wound up sitting next to Grunfeld, then a front-office executive and scout for the New York Knicks. The two spoke for several hours then grabbed a burger at a local restaurant, discussing basketball.

Grunfeld became general manager of the Knicks and hired Tapscott five months later to be the vice president of player personnel and basketball operations. Tapscott has since gone on to serve as interim president and general manager of the Knicks and a consultant for the Milwaukee Bucks -- where he was reunited with Grunfeld -- and later the Phoenix Suns. The two have remained close friends . . .

Bobcats owner Robert Johnson sat next to rapper Nelly, a minority owner in the team, during the game. Johnson tried unsuccessfully to lure Michael Jordan into his ownership ownership group. "Michael and I talk all the time and he is definitely looking to own his own team," Johnson said recently. "Until he's satisfied that he's not going to own a team -- which I don't think will ever happen because he's always going to be looking. "

-- Michael Lee