Former Bobcats In the Playoffs


Do you ever have that inner argument while watching games?  Like the voice of the least positive fan you know creeps up in your head.  “Look at that, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace all on Playoff teams, hmm.  Where are the rest of the Bobcats left after they were booted out of town?  OH YEAH!  At home!  AKA, NOT in the playoffs!”

There are several former Bobcats in the playoffs.  Emeka Okafor made it with New Orleans, and their upset over the Lakers was one of the highlights of the first weekend.  Although, living up to the hype, Okafor himself only had 4 points and 2 rebounds.  There’s Nazr Mohammed on the Thunder, didn’t do a whole lot with his 18 minutes but his veteran leadership in that young group has got to count for something.  Raymond Felton in his role as co-PG in Denver scored 12 points to go with 8 assists.  Shannon Brown and Theo Ratliff in LA are kinda helping the Lakers.  More so for Brown, in his 12 minutes, 8 points and a nasty dunk or two.  Keith Bogans still starts in Chicago, no, for real.  Look it up.  Plus, he is a former Bobcat.  Juwan Howard is still moseying around the sidelines in a uniform for the Heat, he spent a year in Charlotte.  Jason Richardson, probably one of the guys that had the most talent to put on a Bobcats uniform, playing 41 minutes for Orlando, had a whopping 4 points to show for it.

Then there’s the match-up that made me think to write this post, Dallas and Portland.  Gerald Wallace and Tyson Chandler.

Remember the promise that we all thought was there for the Bobcats front line when Chandler came on board.  It’d be all alley-oops and blocks, or so we’d thought at the time.  Then add on Tyrus Thomas, holy crap, lob and let your man go, work on your threes, is what we thought the guards would be doing.  This didn’t work out.  But Wallace has supplanted Batum as starter for the Trailblazers.  Chandler, after a good off season on Team USA at the World’s, has been the full time starter in Dallas, missing hardly any time.  After all, it’s a contract year.  Wallace did what he did last year against the Magic, at least Saturday night, we’ll reserve judgement going forward.  He was 4-13 from the field for 8 points.  His defense was pretty good though.  Ty Ty, the glass man, he finished with 4 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, one against Wallace.

So that’s the list.  I didn’t realize before writing it up, what their actual numbers looked like.  I had a sense that no one was really lighting the world on fire out of that group but I didn’t think their game 1 numbers would prove my point before I even made it.  The point is, while all of those guys were on the Bobcats,  4 were on the roster last year, they were the best we had.  Now, on playoff teams, they’re all, at best, the 4th option on their team.

I had that voice in my head watching these games.  “Former Bobcats, look at ’em.  All in the playoffs!”  Then I had the less rational commenter and forum guy “That guy could have been a Bobcat.”  That could be anybody.  Seriously, between the draft and free agency, plus the hair-brained, late-night, trade machine ideas guys come up with, any player could/should be a Bobcat to irrational fans.  Most notably, from last year on another site’s comment section, the grand plan to lure Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, last year!  Anyway, you can imagine, as a fan, from the outside of the playoffs looking at all these rosters and all the super-stars and some of the mid-level stars on display and performing like it’s that time of year, you can get a little drool going.

I’d welcome any of these guys back.  Raymond, Tyson, Gerald, Mek, all the way to the old timers, Juwan and Theo.  But I’d want them back at approximately half what they’re making and with someone like Melo, Dirk, Lamarcus, Chris Paul, or Lebron or Kobe, as the true face of the team.  We aren’t there, we aren’t Oklahoma City or Portland.  The fanbase isn’t energized like one of those playoff cities (well, except Miami or Atlanta, even Orlando, it’s a little understated in the southeast).  It’s certainly not a national audience of bandwagon fans, reestablishing the longtime powers of the NBA in Boston, New York, LA and Chicago.  There is nothing to rekindle here, George Shinn took all that to the Crescent City.

I’m not down, quite the contrary, I’m positive and happy about the future here in Charlotte.  I believe there is a definite chance of landing a key, cornerstone free agent and a surprise in the draft this year.  We’ll battle for 8/9 in the East, but unless something gets truly screwed up, the Bobcats will be making a climb.  Wouldn’t you prefer that to having one or all of those playoff team’s alsorans?

I’ve said it before, you can be down on this team and what they’re doing.  Missing the playoffs by a couple weeks, plus having flexibility and pieces that you can build with?  Or would you rather it be make the playoffs, get bounced by Chicago, Boston Miami or Orlando and come back just to do it all over again next year?

Don’t long for the past, don’t covet what we had and what’s now gone.  It’s good for these guys, getting to play into April and May is a great thing, even to get swept out of the first round, but remember, while we were psyched to have them, they’re a missing puzzle piece to somebody else, or even a roster filler.  Congrats to the guys who lived in Charlotte for a while, rented a place or even purchased one, enjoy your time but seriously, there are 2 or 3 guys on your current team way, way better than you.  CHEERS!