Can a full changeover in culture come to the team who put up the worst winning percentage in NBA history? One season removed, will things just get gradually better or is there a sea change coming?
I wonder who the first guy to say “Oh, we are bringing in a culture change.” Or “What we really need to do is completely change the culture.” It must have been a new coach somewhere who came in and he was asked “Well coach, what do you bring to the team.” It’s a great way of saying “Everything you didn’t have before.”
If you think about it, it’s a really great way to put how big of a change you want to make. The key word there of course is “want” because cultures aren’t things that are moved or just changed. They are built and influenced and steered but never just changed. If you think about cultures in general, you think of nations or ethnicities but cultures are so diverse you might say that families or even individuals have cultures all to their own.
I’m not really a sociologist, I just had to look up how to spell sociologist, I might even look up Culture here in a minute, as in I don’t really know if cultures can be that individual and I’m starting to doubt the previous paragraph, but I do know what fans usually mean when they say “culture change.” Fans immediately hear (or are they the ones saying it?) “culture change” and think that means going from low win totals to high win totals. Some thing that they’ll have far more pride in their team and they’ll be able to say “I was there when!” Others think that the team will look, play and be different than they were before.
Traditionally, technically, if the culture does change, all these things would be true. However, cultures are what we live in and they’re so ingrained by time and general nature of the people involved that they don’t change easily or even obviously.
In the Bobcats instance, something has to change because seriously, 7-59 is the worst. I don’t know if it’s the culture that got the team the worst winning percentage ever last season, but change can’t be anything but good. To be completely honest, I don’t know if anyone within the organization has used those exact words, I’m using them though. I think things are changing, but they’ve been changing for a while now.
Right now, I feel the culture changing, however. I feel like Mike Dunlap speaks and acts completely different from any other coach that the Bobcats have had. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is different from other players the Bobcats have drafted. It’s an intensity about both of them that I hope is infectious. That’s all we really want, infectiousness.
I hate to quote or reference Malcolm Gladwell. It makes me feel so incredibly like a hacky version of Bill Simmons and Bill Simmons is a hacky version of himself at this point. Whatever that all means, Gladwell did write a tranformative book that everyone references when talking about things taking off or changing or as he calls it “tipping.” I am dying to say this right now is the Charlotte Bobcats tipping point. The truth is though that it’s likely not the case if you’re looking for a championship. If you’re looking for competitive and better, yeah we’re right on the precipice of a tip or a culture change.
There is a new ad from the Jordan Brand out that people tend to love and Bobcats fans tend to celebrate if only for its vague implications.
I have to think, that little subliminal message, while easily explained away is part of a nudge towards a tip. The Bobcats will win a championship one day. Not because of this commercial or as if this commercial foretells of it, but it will happen. This image will be there when it happens. You might think it’s dumb to hold on to that belief or really childish to hold up a commercial that happens to be for the brand of the owner of the team, thus it’s easiest to use those uniforms in the ad, and say “This is part of what we’re working towards,” but it’s true.
Now, will a commercial or a new coach or draft pick turn guys like Tyrus Thomas into team players, or give Bismack Biyombo an offensive game? No. But it’s working in that direction. Hopefully we can get that infectiousness I was talking about and the intensity, the subtle message from the owner in a commercial and the drive to win will take over the team and the fans and all that will pay off in wins and drawing more fans and money to the franchise and hopefully, then the culture will reflect the changes that we’re trusting are being instituted now.