Tar Heels title spotlights May’s NBA troubles

Published 1:59 pm Thursday, April 9, 2009

By By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE — Sean May was watching North Carolina play in the NCAA title game on Monday night when Marvin Williams called asking if he could believe it had been four years since they helped the Tar Heels win the championship.
For May, the most outstanding player of the 2005 NCAA tournament, it seemed like a lifetime ago.
May was drenched in sweat when he spoke at the end of an extended workout for players who rarely play. The starters had long since been dismissed. But for May, this is his only action these days — even after months of work to get to 262 pounds after being publicly admonished by coach Larry Brown at the beginning of the season for being overweight and out of shape.
After going 0-for-6 from the field in 15 minutes in the season opener at Cleveland, May not only lost his starting job, but a spot on the active roster. He’s played in only 21 games since and Brown ordered him to get to 260 pounds from the whopping 303 May said he weighed while he sat last season following microfracture surgery on his troublesome right knee.
But May is a long way from the draft, when he and fellow former Tar Heel Raymond Felton were given a standing ovation by Charlotte fans the day after they were selected in the first round, less than three months after winning taking the NCAA crown.
May has played in only 80 of a possible 324 games in four seasons, going from college star to the target of fat jokes. Still sometimes favoring that knee, he’s treated almost like a walk-on by cheering fans when he does check into home games late in blowouts.
Since Dec. 11, May has appeared in six games for a total of 22 minutes and scored 14 points.
With his rookie contract expiring at the end of the season, May acknowledged wondering if he’ll ever put on a Bobcats jersey again at Time Warner Cable Arena after he logged another ‘‘did not play-coach’s decision’’ Tuesday in Charlotte’s final home game.
May said he plans to get down to about 255 pounds over the summer and stressed that his knee feels fine. While it may be in May’s best interest to start anew with another team, he’s hoping the Bobcats give him another chance.
Brown said they haven’t ruled out May returning. As a restricted free agent, Charlotte could offer him a one-year qualifying offer of $3.7 million, but that’s unlikely. The Bobcats could match an offer from another team, but May could be forced to attend a training camp somewhere with a non-guaranteed deal.
May just hasn’t proved it, so far following the unfortunate path his father. Scott May’s NBA career was derailed by injuries after he also was voted most outstanding player award in leading Indiana to the 1976 NCAA title.
Sean May remains determined to have a different ending.