Raptors center Brezec fumes over trade from Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Toronto Raptors center Primoz Brezec was smiling as he sorted through tickets for friends and family members Sunday before his first game against Charlotte since being traded in December.

But when asked about Bobcats coach Sam Vincent, Brezec's demeanor quickly changed.

"I've been in this league for seven years. People know what I can do," Brezec said, clearly agitated. "Sam Vincent didn't know what he got."

Vincent, in his first season as Bobcats coach, played Brezec little early this season. While he started 18 of 20 games, Brezec averaged only 13 minutes and 1.9 points per game.

His play was similar to his poor season in 2006-07, and the Bobcats ran out of patience. They traded Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann to Detroit for forward Nazr Mohammed on Dec. 14.

Mohammed has been a much more consistent player. But Brezec thinks his play declined because he wasn't used properly.

"I have no problem with Sam Vincent. I was just frustrated that he said that he didn't get 12 or 13 points from me that he needed," Brezec said. "Of course he didn't get it because I didn't get the ball. Come on.

"If you look at the teams back in the day, I got buckets, I got stops, I got rebounds. Don't talk about me if you don't know my game."

The 7-foot-1 Brezec played little in Detroit, too, and was then dealt to the Raptors last month for guard Juan Dixon.

"We were patient with him and we never at any time said anything negative about Primoz Brezec," Vincent said after the Bobcats beat Brezec's Raptors 110-98. "So it's a little disappointing that
Primoz Brezec would take the position he's taking, when this team and this organization did nothing but support him through some of his difficulties."

Brezec did thank Vincent and part-owner Michael Jordan for allowing him to miss much of the preseason to deal with an undisclosed family issue.

"Not every team would do what they did for me. I'm thankful to Sam and Michael," Brezec said. "They were there for me. But what they did to me after that was not right."

The one person in the Bobcats' organization Brezec had high praise for was the man Vincent replaced. Bernie Bickerstaff moved to a front-office job after three years as coach.

Brezec averaged 13 and 12.4 points in his first two seasons with Charlotte, only to drop to five points a game last season.

"That's my man. He was building something here for three years," Brezec said of Bickerstaff. "We were on the right track. I guarantee you my NBA salary that if we had stayed together and added a couple of pieces, we would have made the playoffs. Write that down."

The Bobcats improved to 20-39 after Sundays' win. Brezec had four points and four fouls in 11 minutes.

"Nothing that Primoz Brezec says surprises me," Vincent said. "But his comments that I didn't like him are untrue."