The playoffs back in those years between local NBA franchises were kind of fun. The Hornets basically left town in 01-02, but that was my freshman year in college and anything cheap and different was awesome. We got in to 3 Playoff games that year for $5 each, sure we were sitting in the top of the cavernous old arena but it was fun (covered sections and all), one of our favorite local bands, Weekend Excusion, would play pre-game in the parking lot and like I said, $5!!! They won the first round series against Orlando and in the second round, the fate was sealed and the move was official. It was still fun to go see those games and the Lakers were the cream of the crop, which makes it fun to watch the finals, even if it was NJ that were the sacrificial lambs.
The next year, I mean it was hard to follow because there was no easy team to root for. Also, the NBA outlawed all NBA TV games in the Carolinas except nationally televised games. This probably prevented a lot of people from following the Hawks or Wizards or someone but mostly, there was no regular viewing. Playoffs came and went with the Spurs beating the Nets. Whoopie! Actually, that was the lowest rated finals until the ’07 finals, so no one really cared.
The next year they announced that we’d get a team and the owner would be this awkward little billionaire from Washington named Bob Johnson. While we were waiting the NBA played on. It wasn’t great but we kept up because these guys would be the competition next year. Oh yeah, watch out league the BOBCats are coming. Wait, did that guy name the team after himself? Is Charlotte an area known for having Bobcats? Other than the little bulldozers on the hundreds of jobsites in the area, not really. It wasn’t great but Detroit played solid ball and beat the Lakers who became the Yankees of the NBA with Karl Malone and Gary Payton added to their crumbling, aging, argumentative roster.
The next year, finally we had NBA in Charlotte. I had new roommates, we made sure to get C-SET, which sucked, except for Bobcats games. Who would have thought a 82 game season could make a whole network? Bobcat Johnson, that’s who. 5 years later and we’re still watching, it’s been a couple channel changes and 3 coaches, but we’re still kicking.
Anyway, the point is, this season was the best and closest for me to any postseason. Missing it, legitimately, in the final week sucked. Watching the playoffs this year feels cheap, hollow and honestly, I don’t care. I don’t like any of the teams in it. There is no underdog. There is no great dynasty. There is no supreme team that’s easy to hate but you want to see them collapse or something like those Lakers in ’04. I’m not really even watching games. Sure the Bulls/Celtics went 7 and 3/4 games but who cares? I hate the Bulls for having the best luck ever in a draft lottery last year and we all hate the Celtics because they are the Celtics.
I’m a Bobcat’s fan. I love the NBA, I love the players, I love the play and action but I am attached to the ‘Cats. They aren’t in it, so why should I watch?