Many causal NBA fans haven’t watched Charlotte play a single game this year. But they may have heard anecdotally about how the team was blown out by 39 against Miami or by 30 against the Hawks. And thus they have probably come to the easy, lazy conclusion that this team has played some bad games. But you know something? What these ignorant so-called “fans” don’t realize is that our Charlotte Bobcats have played other games, too, games like last night against the Nets…and those games are actually even worse. How awful was Sunday night’s game? I would make a prisoner watch it in order to beat a confession out of him. I haven’t watched something that depraved, sick, and twisted since that episode of Whitney. In fact, when talking about the Bobcats, I’m thinking of replacing the word “watching” with the phrase, “subjecting yourself to,” as in, “Hey, are you subjecting yourself to the Bobcats tonight?”
Sunday night was actually bad to the point of profundity. Through suffering comes enlightenment, and I’m convinced that all of us—in choosing to wat—I mean, subject ourselves to—this team, are not simply expressing our die-hard fandom but responding to a higher calling. Here’s how: People think of this as a golden age for basketball, with an amazing cast of stars and super-teams. But the Bobcats are so cover-your-eyes horrifying that maybe the real reason we’re here is to document that it wasn’t all wonderful for the NBA circa-2012. Bobcats Planet may actually be the NBA’s very own “How the Other Half Lives.” We’re the 99-percenters. The black people on Mad Men. After all, Raging Bull and Ordinary People weren’t the only movies released in 1981; so was Make Them Die Slowly. Thirty years from now they’ll uncover this website, and it will serve as a testimony to those faceless, forgotten, hopeless masses who didn’t live in New York, Chicago, Miami, and LA.
Because if Sunday night is any indication, it’s not only bad now; it’s bad for the long-term as well. Get used to the bottom of the conference, because Sherman Hemsley is not strutting through that door, and we are NOT moving on up. Consider Bismack Biyombo. As I watched Biyombo try to frog-splash Jordan Farmar at the end of the 1st quarter, needlessly bailing him out and putting him on the foul line, I began to wonder if those aren’t merely lapses in concentration but actual bouts of temporary insanity. What else would have possessed him to do something so pointlessly violent and excessive? I know he’s a transplant from the Spanish leagues, but they do have personal fouls there, right? Why does he act like he’s unaware that you can’t dive on top of people? And this was arguably Biyombo’s best game.
Meanwhile, Kemba Walker is dangerously close to Tebow Dilemma territory. The Tebow Dilemma, which I’ve spent a backbreaking 30 seconds formulating, occurs when you have a high draft pick who is pretty good with at least one huge exception (e.g., Tim Tebow’s a pretty good quarterback except that he can’t throw a football very well). In Walker’s case, he’s pretty good except that he’s tiny and he can’t guard anyone. (We’re no stranger to this dilemma by the way. Adam Morrison was pretty good except that he couldn’t dribble or play defense. Sean May was pretty good except that he was obese and one of his knees fell off.) Look at the teams we’ve beaten this year: Milwaukee (tiny guard in Brandon Jennings), Golden State (tiny guards in Nate Robinson and Monta Ellis), and New York (don’t actually have guards). See a pattern here? Last night, as he mowed through the defense repeatedly for a near triple-double, Deron Williams wasn’t thinking, “What’s the best strategy I can devise in order to get past Kemba Walker?” No, he was probably thinking something more like, “Why is Boo Berry so much harder to find than Franken Berry and Count Chocula?” This is because getting past Kemba Walker requires little to no thought or effort if you’re a guard with even average size and speed. It would be one thing if we had Tyson Chandler behind Walker, but we traded Chandler in order to—wait, why did we trade Chandler again? I think I need to lie down.
I understand that the strategy is to bottom out this year for high draft picks. But considering the draft history I just alluded to, there’s definitely no guarantee that we’ll be competent with our draft picks? We took Biyombo and Walker 7th and 9th in last year’s draft; they’re our future, which is truly concerning, considering the 25th pick, MarShon Brooks, just torched them both for 20 points and 6 boards. You know what would really be comforting right now, besides a double-shot of whiskey? A 12-part Rick Bonnell series—each part 35-pages long—that describes in detail how Stephen Cho has spent 16 hours a day for the last 6 months analyzing advanced college stats in preparation for the draft. I would really enjoy that. That and a bowl of Boo Berry would hit the spot.