Well there’s some sad things known to man, but they ain’t too much sadder than the last game of the NBA regular season. Goodbye, Bobcats, I’m going to M-I-S, S you much. Just think, when we tipped off in November, aging ex-President Gerald Ford was remembered chiefly for his clutziness rather than as the wise and noble leader that he suddenly became once he died, global warming was a liberal conspiracy theory, Donald Rumsfeld was one of the most powerful people in the world, Tim Hardaway was presumed to have at worst an ambivalent attitude regarding homosexuals, and the thought of allowing a drooling, excreting dog into my house seemed laughable. Five months later, that’s all changed, but one thing that hasn’t is my love for the Bobcats. And though there’s a smile upon my face as I write the final entry, it’s only there tryin’ to fool the public.
Speaking of tragedies, the Knicks were our final opponents of the regular season. After closing out their campaign with a 3-15 run, Stephon Marbury recently reassured the New York faithful by promising, “Us as a team, we're going to be together for next year,” which I’m not even sure Knicks fans would consider to be a good thing. I got a chuckle out of it though, because it reminded me of an old Far Side cartoon in which the Founding Fathers are standing around a draft of the Constitution and one of them says, “Now, should it be ‘Us the People,’ or ‘We the People’?”
Fittingly, we ended this season just like we started it: with no local television coverage. The Bobcats did a little closing ceremony of their own, capped off by a speech from…Othella Harrington?? This makes no sense for two reasons. First, he talked for about as many minutes as he averaged playing this year; the guy's not exactly the face of the franchise. Second, he asked for the obligatory continued support over the summer and next year, when it’s practically a given that he won’t be here next year. Anyhow, all of our favorite Knicks were on-hand to entertain us: Eddy Curry, Steve Francis, Jerome James, Nate Robinson, Jared Jeffries…brother, what a freak show. No Stephon Marbury though, for reasons that were never made a clear, and this was a shame, because I always get a kick out of it whenever commentator Walt Frazier uses phrases like “overly ostentatious” to analyze a Steph play.
For the Bobcats, Gerald Wallace (12 points) made a cameo appearance and Emeka Okafor fouled out with just 17 minutes to his name. The night flew by like a dream and had all of the sights that made the year so memorable: Primoz Brezec missing more layups than should be humanly possible for a 7-footer, Ryan Hollins goaltending a shot that was at least a foot below the plane of the basket by the time he swatted it, Jeff McInnis passing to a referee, and Coach Bickerstaff’s priceless grimacing. And in fact we were bombarded with some of Coach’s best looks in his final game, as the Cats got off to a horrific start and trailed by 8; it was almost like Coach was doing one of those big finales they do with fireworks in order to send us home happy.
But these are the Knicks, they’ve worked hard for their reputation, and by golly they weren’t about to screw it up in one night. The Bobcats went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter that culminated hilariously with a wheezing James staggering to the bench like a man emerging from a desert. Leading by 2 at the half, the Cats stretched it to 9, but let New York take a 4-point lead late in the 4th quarter. However, Herrmann’s trey got us to within 1, Robinson (18 points) answered with one of his own (then followed it up with the type of reserved and dignified celebration of which only he’s capable), and then Wallace hit a three, Raymond Felton completed a 3-point play to give us the lead with 9 seconds to play, and then Eddy Bleepin’ Curry tipped in a shot with 0.6 left to steal it away—sonofa…!
There were bloopers, turnovers (the Knicks had 22), and poor shooting galore. The game was pretty horrendous, but it became bizarrely compelling because a) the crowd was jacked, and b) Malik Rose (10, 15, and 9) nearly notched a highly unlikely triple-double. Brevin Knight had 12 points and 13 dimes, Raymond Felton had 19 points, Herrmann had 22, and the forever young Derek Anderson had 14 points and 6 assists. “I’m going to play two more (years) at the most,” Anderson said before the game, “maybe three, but I doubt it.” Um, so that would be three more years at the most, but either way, it’s been a pleasure, DA.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, your 06-07 Charlotte Bobcats. Although the season’s over, I definitely plan to keep blogging throughout the summer, so be sure to tune in. It’s all part of my plan to keep my brand out there, because I want to be thought of as a Blogging Icon. I don’t necessarily need to be a "Global Icon" like LeBron, I’ll settle for just being a "Regional Icon," like Harris Teeter supermarkets. Thus I’ll be chiming in with thoughts on our draft picks, the new coach, any transactions, re-signings, and of course any brushes with the law and/or strippers. I’ll also probably post any random thoughts I have concerning the playoffs. And finally, there’s a certain New York-based, pinstripe-clad, overpaid, underachieving, professional baseball team that periodically causes me to break major appliances in anger, so don’t be surprised to see some confessional-style postings on that front. But I can tell you, my love for the Bobcats will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone.