The Panthers have training camp in full swing, and we’re sort of covering it over at PanthersPlanet.com, but training camp doesn’t lead to many stories, other than that whole Jeff Otah deal. Well the Bobcats have training camp coming up too, which will be less hurried and lockouty this year. The only interesting thing so far is that Scoop Jardine from Syracuse is going to be invited.
Scoop Jardine isn’t really the story. The roster is at 13 and the other two spots aren’t likely to be filled by a combo guard coming off a broken foot that was unlikely to be drafted anyway. Scoop Jardine is likely invited, according to PhillySportsLive.com, because of who he’s friends with. That’s the issue I have, the blogger is pointing to a photo of Jardine with Michael Jordan’s daughter from Facebook, which might be a stretch but it leads me to a larger problem with the Bobcats: Nepotism.
I know I’m beating a dead horse here. I think I’ve hit on this every time an assistant is hired, a front office spot is filled or a low-level roster spot is filled. It just keeps coming up. You don’t see the Knicks, Nets, Heat, Thunder or Lakers doing this. Actually, I doubt the Wizards, Hornets, Clippers or Magic do either. It’s just so obvious and needless.
I was hired by my uncle. Twice. I may not have been the most qualified candidate, either time, actually there might not have been candidates other than me but I did a good job, for the most part. My uncle hired me because he didn’t have to step out of his comfort zone. He didn’t have to advertise, look through resumes or interview strangers. That was for a job that’s done by at least 8 people in Charlotte alone, possibly 50 people across the state and likely 2000 or more people across the country. For Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats, there are only 30 head coaches, GM’s and Presidents of Basketball Operations around the world.
When you think through, Jordan has hired many of the people closest to him. The #2 at his agency from his player days is now the Vice Chairman. A buddy of his from way back in college that supposedly tried to help Jordan steal dates, is President and COO. GM promoted to President of Basketball Operations was a teammate and together they hired another one of those guys who missed out on the Bulls dynasty but was a teammate early as a head coach. Then Jordan hired a Carolina guy, with Carolina assistants, who brought in his brother as an assistant. Oh I forgot about the first coach and his son. I could list forever, but I’ll end with this: if you look at the front office staff directory, you’ll see another Higgins and another Jordan, just sayin’.
Cory Higgins made the team last season. I don’t know if you realize just how bad at basketball Cory Higgins is and hopefully was. 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds to go with a low shooting percentage (34 percent from the field) and high turnover rate (3.8 per game), and that was in 5 games a D-Leaguer! He had the 12th worst season in NBA history of any player with 400 or more minutes. He had the 8th worst offensive season ever. It was just dreadful. At least he wasn’t drafted, that’s all you can really say about him being on the Charlotte Bobcats.
Nepotism and cronyism are tough to avoid and harder to answer for, but the Bobcats aren’t completely wallowing in them. There have been some “outside the family” hires and of course not every player has gone to a team related college or is related somehow to a coach or front office member, in fact that’s rare. Rich Cho is generally regarded as a great hire, and he has little to no connections. Here’s hoping that Mike Dunlap, another guy that just works as a hire rather than being connected, doesn’t have any brothers, sons or even nephews that have aspirations towards being an assistant or scout or even a video guy.
The main problem with nepotism is that it instantly eliminates the semblance of someone being the best possible hire for the position. True, if you come from a basketball family you’d probably know more than some Joe off the street. Scoop Jardine isn’t another layer to this thing. He might actually be a player in the NBA at some point. It just reminds me of the incredible and sometimes questionable history the Bobcats have of bringing in less than desirable people to fill positions that just happen to related to folks high up in the organization.