The world has to wait another day for a glimpse of the new Charlotte Hornets.
Hours after acquiring Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell in a major trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, a makeshift version of the Hornets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 85-70 Wednesday night. Instead of "Showtime East," the Sixers ended up facing several reserves, including Charles Shackleford, Chucky Brown and an aging Rifleman, Chuck Person.
Allen Iverson had 25 points, seven assists and five steals for the Sixers, who snapped a three-game losing streak despite committing a season-high 23 turnovers.
"I've just got to remind myself that we've got some young kids who don't have a clue," coach Larry Brown said. "They don't know what it is to be a pro, to be responsible when they step onto the court."
Jones and Campbell didn't join the team in time for the game, leaving the Hornets with only nine players after trading Glen Rice, J.R. Reid and B.J. Armstrong to the Lakers.
"My guys gave me everything they had," said interim coach Paul Silas, who took over when Dave Cowens resigned. "When they turned up the defense, we had problems."
Charlotte eventually ran out of people to chase Iverson around. The Hornets expect Jones to arrive in time for Friday night's game at Washington, while Campbell isn't expected to play until Sunday in New York.
Charlotte's bench resembled the top row o the upper deck at the First Union Center -- nearly empty. No matter. Shackleford, Person, Brown and Brad Miller easily surpassed the Sixers' energy until midway through the third.
"It was all effort," said Sixers point guard Eric Snow, who had a career-high six steals. "We didn't have any effort."
The 76ers finally started pulling away with a 14-4 run early in the second half. Former Hornets center Matt Geiger made a layup, Ratliff hit two free throws and Iverson scored on a drive to cap the run and give the Sixers a 49-46 lead with 5:48 left in the third.
Iverson drove past Eldridge Recasner, made a layup high off the glass and added a free throw to make it 60-50 with 2:32 left in the period. Travis Williams and Miller were sprawled on the court after swatting in vain at Iverson and the ball.
Iverson played a little recklessly, but he made an otherwise nondescript game worth the price of admission with two terrific moves on David Wesley.
In the second quarter , Iverson faked Wesley so hard that the Hornets point guard fell down. Iverson broke him down with a crossover dribble and pulled up for a 16-foot jumper while Wesley was on the floor. Moments later, Iverson dribbled a small circle around Wesley and passed to Hughes for a layup.
"We didn't take them lightly," Iverson said. "We just didn't play our game in the first half."
Person was called for two technicals and ejected with 11:01 left after arguing that Miller had been fouled under the basket. Iverson missed both technicals, but the Hornets were left with only eight players.
Miller, who had a career-high 14 points, kept arguing at the officials and got a technical a minute later.
- Rumors are rampant the Sixers are interested in Jones and/or Campbell. Tim Thomas is the only valuable commodity the Sixers would be remotely willing to offer. "I am not looking to trade Tim Thomas," Brown said. Thomas, a former starting forward, has been banished to a mopup role.
- Shackleford, a former Sixer, had 10 rebounds but was 1-for-7 for two points.
© 1999 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved