‘Bout to head down to Chinatown for some football watching and then some Wizards-Bobcats game attending. Brett from Queen City Hoops was gracious enough to answer some questions about his team, here they go…..
1) The moves that Michael Jordan while in DC left a sour taste in the mouths of many Wizards fans. How satisfied are you with the direction of the Bobcats under MJ’s leadership? And actually, in what direction are the Bobcats heading?
Brandon Wright for Jason Richardson…who turned into Boris Diaw at 9ish Million per season. Walter Hermann and Primoz Brezec for Nazr Mohammed, who has gotten about 9 minutes a game this year, yet makes over 6 million dollars (with another year and a big money early termination option after that). Adam Morrison instead of Rudy Gay – and Ammo’s option got picked up for next year at $5 million, despite a PER of less than 8. How satisfied do you think I would be with those moves? The Bobcats seem firmly on a path to sustained mediocrity (or less), tying up big money in a core of decent but not great players. With Gerald, Emeka, Matt Carroll, and Boris Diaw under contract for the next several years, the Bobcats have already committed $35+ million to payroll, with no sure fire all-star among them.
2) Larry Brown, in comparison to the headlines he’s made in the past, has flown relatively under the radar this season. What do you think of the job he is doing?
With Larry staying away from bashing the team in the media for the most part (save for Sean May and his conditioning), I have been pleased by that aspect. With the team headed to a comparable win total to last season, barring a surprising second half run during their road heavy portion of the schedule, I have to say I am a bit disappointed in the outcome – yet pleased by what I have seen on the court generally. The defense is far improved, with the Bobcats moving up to about average in defensive efficiency.
Offensively, they are still struggling – but the numbers have improved since early season, when they were still choking down LB’s massive playbook…oh, and trading away the team’s “best” offensive player in Jason Richardson has seemed to help the offense as well, as ball movement has improved and more efficient scorers have gotten touches since J-Rich left. Biggest complaint: Larry’s reliance on established veterans (read: old guys) – getting Raja in the Richardson trade was ok, as it brought in a perimeter defender, an area the team lacks. But signing Juwan Howard, and giving him minutes, at the expense of Ryan Hollins and Alexis Ajinca? This team is very unlikely to make the playoffs, so I would have liked to seen time given to the youngsters, as a chance to develop and see what we have in them.
3) What current players do you want to see on the Bobcats roster in two years?
Boris Diaw – even more versatile than I remembered from his glory year in Phoenix. Emeka Okafor – The first Bobcat will never be an all-time great, but he is a solid player and it would be disappointing to see their first draft pick leave. D.J. Augustin – It does not look like he is going to be a “pure” point guard, but he passes well enough and he is already a better finisher after penetration than Raymond Felton.
4) How solid/healthy is the Charlotte fan base/market now? How confident are you in the team’s ability to attract big name free agents?
Small but growing. I think the team is starting to create some converts and win fans back after the Hornets left. It was tough early, with the team getting public funds for an arena, which was not a popular decision. Things have been further complicated by the Bobcats bad tv deals through their first few seasons, but when they reached the naming rights deal last year for Bobcats Arena (now Time Warner Cable Arena), they have been able to move into a better (though still not great) tv deal, that allows a lot more people to see their games regularly. Bob Johnson did not do himself any favors last year when he blasted local businesses for a lack of support – ridiculous prices and no tv for a large number of people in the area were the far bigger issues.
Let’s just say you will not see me devoting time to playing what if’s about LeBron, Wade, Bosh, or any other big name free agents. I think when the Hornets were still here, Derrick Coleman was among the biggest name free agent they ever signed – that still sounds about right (would that be Tim Thomas in today’s league – or Eddy Curry?)
Thanks a lot to Brett for taking the time out of his schedule, be sure and check out Queen City Hoops for anything and everything Bobcats.