That may seem hard to say (or believe) when you take a look at the body of work that thee guys have put in on the hard-court leading up to the All-Star break, but in this case I’m not talking about the game of basketball at all.
I love sports. I love watching the games while hanging out with the guys drinking a few beers. I love telling stories that paint me as a college/pro prospect when my talents were nowhere close to either.
What I especially love about professional sports is when players and teams show that they realize that they are special, but not in an egocentric way. I love it when they show appreciation for the unique opportunity that they have. Playing a game for a living is something that most people would like to do, and they get to do it.
The Bobcats might be failing miserably on the court, but this week they proved that they have their hearts and minds in the right place off the court.
In Monday, as part of their “Cats Care” program the team donated a massive refrigerated mobile pantry to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Charlotte (valued at $125,000). Of course a mobile pantry is worthless without food so they donated $125,000 in food as well.
“When I first took over the team one of the things I wanted to emphasize was for the Bobcats to connect back to the community,” team owner Michael Jordan said. “It’s a very beautiful truck and hopefully it’s going to serve a lot of people. We feel deep in our hearts that we owe back to the community for what the community has done for us.”
Skeptics might scoff at this post and say that the move is nothing special because every team does things like this or that Jordan is doing it because he wants it for the tax break. I’m sure that every team does do stuff for the community and whatever they do is a heck of a tax break.
To me that doesn’t matter. The fact remains that the team is doing something positive in their community, ulterior motive or not. People that need help are getting it, and that’s what matters most. Last year they made it possible for kids in local area middle schools to continue playing sports when budget cuts were threatening to take programs away.
Community oriented moves like this could be why the team is doing better with attendance this year, even though the club is playing pretty bad. Folks might just like the club for who they are and not so much because of the talent they have with a basketball. If this is the case, it makes me think a little bit more about Jordan being the astute business man that he is.
If the team is able to connect with the community as well as it appears to be doing and improve attendance in the process regardless of the product on the court think what they’ll be able to do next year after they add another talent to the mix with this season’s lottery pick?
If the community loves these guys when they suck, just imagine what they’ll do when they become good?