When Michael Jordan officially announced the Bobcats name change on Tuesday, it marked a brief respite from the unending horror of being a Charlotte basketball fan. At least for me. I’ve always hated the Bobcats name, and not just for its narcissistic origins with former majority owner Bob Johnson. I’ve hated it because an actual bobcat is not even remotely threatening as an animal; for me, the immediate image of a bobcat is of a helpless, half-starved, feral creature in a cage, wide-eyed with terror, the product of an animal control team response to several complaints of garbage cans being knocked over in the local trailer park. There’s a reason Lord Cornwallis never referred to Charlotte as a “veritable bobcats’ litter of rebellion,” and so with apologies to Ohio University alumni, “bobcats” is a fearful little quivering nickname that I for one am happy to release back into the wild of college mascots.
The one thing about the beginning of the season is that everyone literally starts on the same plane. Prior to the first game of the season everyone is undefeated and theoretically has just as much of a shot to get to the Finals as the next guy.
Of course in time realism sets in as the teams start to play and the men quickly begin to separate themselves from the boys.
Until that moment happens though one could make a positive argument for the future of any team until it loses. So with that in mind I feel the need to pose what I think is an interesting question—
Should we get excited over the Charlotte Bobcats season opening win over the Indiana Pacers?
The easy answer is yes, because after all a win is a win is a win is a win, right? Indiana was one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 42-24 and is expected to be pretty competitive this season as well. Anytime you beat a team of that caliber is reason to be happy.
After last season’s debacle the expectations that many fans will likely have for this year’s Bobcats is that they don’t do worse than they did last season now that there will be 16 more games on the schedule. Living through a 7-59 season was bad enough. Now that the option of doing worse is open with the full 82-game schedule this season it would be understandable if fans were just a little apprehensive.
However, with all the changes that the team has gone through since last season I would be shocked if the team were to look anything like the group that was on the court last season. I credit His Airness with going out and getting a new head coach, several new players, and even changing the uniforms so the team will not literally look like last season’s group.
Without blowing his considerable bank account out of the water and going after Dwight Howard or any other top name free agent (cause y’all know it would have taken a moderate sized fortune to get Superman or any other superstar to come to Charlotte) Michael Jordan has done his part to give fans a better product on the court this season.
It isn’t hard to be better than last season though. So what can we honestly expect to see from the Charlotte Bobcats this season? 10 wins? 20 wins? 30 wins? Dare I say it—playoffs???
Never, let me repeat, NEVER, have I been this optimistic before the NBA training camp started. Honestly, I don’t know where to start. Well, let’s just start at the top. Micheal Jordan, hey what can I say? He truly made several outstanding decisions this offseason. Here’s the top four in my book:
- Signed Coach Dunlap – I haven’t had the priviledge of meeting him yet, but I can already tell you, this guy is the real deal folks. He’s a runner and in great shape, so he leads by example, not with his chops. He has that Drill Sergeant look and demeanour, but is a people person at the same time. He will fire up the troops, and get them ready for battle!
- Great Draft (even if it wasn’t his pick) he still allowed Cho to draft Kidd- Gilcrest and Taylor, arguably, our best 1+2 picks in any draft we’ve ever entered. (No knock on Kemba and Bismack, these are two future “very good” players, I just think these 2 guys will have a larger impact their rookie seasons than they did. Seeing all 4 of them on the court at one time during some game is something I’m really looking foward to. That’s when I’ll know, we are on our way!)
It may seem a little strange, but the basketball season is not that far away folks. Training camp is right around the corner (early October I believe). First up for our Bobcats in the preseason will be the Washington Wizards. We open the regular season at home against the Indiana Pacers on November 2.
That’s not a whole lot of time.
Now the NFL has been kind enough to play some games of their own leading up to the beginning of the season to keep us occupied (thanks guys!) so before you know it will be time for tip-off!
Personally, I can’t wait for that first game to start for a couple different reasons. First and foremost so we can officially put that dreadful 2011-12 season behind us for good. I guess technically it already is, but I think we will not really be able to put it out of sight and completely out of mind until the new Charlotte Bobcats step on the court for the first time.
We’ve got reason to be a little excited this year folks. It would be pretty difficult for the team to match last season’s record so we can only get better. Like you I’m not looking to except a slew of 10 point losses over the 20 point ones, but I don’t think we are going to be that bad this year.
I think we can surprise some folks.
Michael Jordan is the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Now that I’ve said that, I think the following has a place on this site. In all honesty, this is the deep dark off season. I Google-News the Bobcats every couple days or so, I check twitter of course, and there’s nothing going on. I decided to check ESPN.com, knowing they sometimes link to stories on the team-page that I might not come across otherwise. Sure enough, they had a story there, that I would have likely never read or come across.
There are a couple headlines: ”Granderson: Michael Jordan’s Obama fundraiser 22 years after Harvey Gantt,” and “The political Michael Jordan.” The article is by LZ Granderson, who I’ve never heard of and don’t know anything about. At first glance I thought it was Liz Granderson but it’s not, it’s LZ, a man and a black man at that, from what I can tell. I consider myself post-racial, so I can point things like that out. Read the article, it’s semi-interesting in an off-season desperation sort of way.
Right now, the only Bobcats news you’re going to get is related to the DNC at the arena or this little story about Michael Jordan hosting a fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Actually, if you have the auto-play enabled on ESPN.com you’ll see a little debate on whatever that show where they have the old guy take the wrong side of an argument over and over, stating that David Stern and Jordan are both involved in the Obama re-election fund.