Brian Cardinal's back.

The lovable, ol' vet was back in his proper place -- one chair over from protege Kevin Love -- gnawing on an apple before tonight's game at Charlotte, talking about he talked with some playoff-bound teams about a job but ultimately returned to the team that traded him to New York for Darko Milicic because he feels a responsibility to his teammates and the franchise.

He's not starting, btw.

The same lineup is, featuring Darko Milicic at center. It'll be interesting to see what kind of inspiration Milicic plays with against Bobcats coach Larry Brown, whom Milicic still blames for not playing him when he first entered the league with Detroit in 2003.

Tonight also is a bit of a homecoming for Wayne Ellington, who played his college ball two hours up the road at Chapel Hill.

Kurt Rambis also called Charlotte home once, long ago. He signed as a free agent with the expansion Hornets inaugural team in 1988 and played there little more than one season before getting traded to Phoenix.

That's it. Game's about to tip off, 6 pm Central time.