A handful of Bobcats—including rookies Bismark Biyombo and Kemba Walker—along with Anthony Morrow of the New Jersey Nets and Derrick Brown of the New York Knicks took to the court at Time Warner Cable Arena Friday (facilities were opened up on Thursday). Coaches can’t join workouts yet, but it’s good to see guys eager to return to the home floor.
The deal isn’t set in stone just yet, but every indication says it is going to happen. Plans have been put in motion for the season to start with a flurry of games on Christmas Day featuring some of the NBA’s marquee teams (ho ho ho, right?).
Charlotte isn’t on that list, but that’s okay; Bobcats fans will see their team all in due time. Fans will also finally get a chance to see if all the wheeling and dealing last season along with the two first round picks in the last draft can change the team’s playoff fortunes.
What could help this team of fairly young talent of course would be a solid, veteran player that can lead the team through the peaks and valleys that are inherent with the NBA season. The right guy could be the key to stopping a losing streak or keeping the heads of passionate rookies on straight when they get a hot hand.
The best candidate currently on the roster is 12-year veteran Corey Maggette. If that makes you cringe a little bit that is okay. Corey has been a solid player during his day, but I don’t think he’s the type of guy that can settle a team down when they are riled up or lift them out of the doldrums.
So go get someone out of free agency, right? For the Bobcats that could end up being harder than it sounds.
For months, the media was clamoring for Bobcats owner Michael Jordan to get more involved in negotiations. With the stature that he has in the NBA, and having been on the other side of the negotiating table during CBA talks many thought that his insight could prove vital to getting an agreement signed sooner rather than later.
They thought since he had been a player that he could understand what the current players were going through and how to talk to them. As an owner now as well, they thought he could also see their side of the argument as well. Being the only person that can actually understand both sides of the issue he could be the key.
Boy, were they disappointed when His Airness spoke like an owner of a small market basketball team rather than the former star that he was in Chicago. Sure enough, for finally doing what everyone wanted the man was essentially vilified.
Player after player came out in the media bashing Michael Jordan; guys that no one but their mothers had ever heard of or ones that can’t beat Jordan in a game of NBA Jams let alone on a real basketball court. That leads to the question of the day—
Are the ill feelings towards Jordan more widespread than we know? Would they be enough for some big name players to not sign with the team? Could the team end up being forced to trust the young talent they have in order to make a playoff push because no marquee players want to play for a perceived “sell out?”
Free agency starts on Monday so we’ll find out soon enough.