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Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006

Reserve Hermann impresses Bobcats


Staff writer

SENDAI -- Michael Jordan may have found his diamond in the rough.

News photo
Argentine reserve forward Walter Hermann has performed so well for his team in the FIBA World Championship that the Michael Jordan-led Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA offered the Spanish League product a contract. AP PHOTO

A day after leading Argentina in scoring for the second straight game in Group A at the FIBA World Championship, reserve forward Walter Hermann revealed Tuesday that he has agreed to a contract with the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA.

Hermann, who impressed observers here with his smooth moves and soft touch while scoring 23 points in a win over Lebanon on Sunday and 25 in Monday's victory over Venezuela, is poised to join the team for which Jordan became the Managing Member of Basketball Operations for in June.

The 203-cm Hermann, who has suited up for Malaga in the Spanish League the past four seasons, played for the Bobcats in the recent Orlando Summer League and is expected to be rewarded for his performance with a one-year deal.

Charlotte, which participated in the six-team circuit along with the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic, finished tied for last place in the NBA's Southeast Division last season with a 26-56 record.

The 27-year-old sharpshooter, with shoulder length blond hair, said after practice in Spanish that he is looking forward to joining the expansion team as it heads into its third season.

"My dream is to play in the NBA. I will officially sign with Charlotte during this championship," he said. "They will give me a physical sometime soon, and then the agreement will be formalized."

Hermann, who hails from Venado Tuerto, was a member of Argentina's gold medal winning team at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He played just six minutes and did not score in the South Americans victory over France in the opening match at the worlds, but put on a show when given a chance in the next two contests.

When asked how he thought the competition in the Spanish League matched up with that in the NBA, Hermann said he felt he was well prepared for the challenge ahead.

"All of the players who come to play in the Spanish League, who have played elsewhere in Europe, always say it is the toughest league, and I agree," he said.

Hermann said after Monday's victory that he was happy with his role on the Argentine squad, even though he has to come off the bench.

"I have gotten to play more than usual in the past couple of games, but I know my role," he said. "I just do what the coach (Sergio Hernandez) wants me to do, and it all works out."



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