Why The Charlotte Bobcats Suck

By: Kevin LaFrancis

It’s the holidays, a time of the year where good cheer should be spread. After an unexpected 7-5 start to the season, the Bobcats have fallen back towards the bottom of the conference standings. Bobcats fans need a pick-me-up. About a month ago, I made a bold prediction that the Bobcats would make the playoffs. Charlotte was 7-5. They were playing as a team. They looked solid statistically. However, one statistic ultimately measures success: number of wins. And, a miserable winter stretch has nixed every one of Charlotte’s initial achievements. How are the Bobcats performing so dreadfully if the early season numbers showed such promise? It’s simple, Charlotte fans. They are temporarily trying to lose. Here’s my take on the possible explanations for the Bobcats’ blunders:

They are trying to convince MJ to come back.

The Bobcats secretly want MJ to return to the court. (NBAE/Kent Smith)

The Bobcats secretly want MJ to return to the court. (NBAE/Kent Smith)

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player and competitor of all time. He literally has more rings than the Olympic logo. He was the Most Valuable Player five times in the regular season and in all six of his finals wins. He averaged over 30 points per game for his career. However, retirement has diminished American’s perception of Jordan as a demi-god. He can’t sell Bobcats tickets, or underwear. As general manager of Charlotte, his draft picks have repeatedly busted like a bad blackjack player. He took Kwame Brown, Alexis Ajinca, and Brandan Wright. He passed on Joakim Noah and Stephen Jackson. Jordan’s gambling instinct spills into his executive decisions.

Despite my harsh critique, he is a legend. He knows that, and the Bobcats players know that. He is about to turn 50 in February. Can you think of a better way to celebrate a 50th birthday than announcing you are going to play for the same team you general manage? The average retirement age is around 65; MJ has at least 15 good years left in him. That must be what the Charlotte players are thinking. Tank in the fourth quarter. Miss that open layup. Excuse the excessive amount of turnovers as a failing attempt to execute the offense. Fuel MJ’s competitive fire. Get him back on the court, and suddenly the Bobcats go from a playoff team to a championship contender.

They believed in the Mayan Apocalypse.

The conclusion of the Mayan calendar sparked many doomsday rumors about the end of the world. Some people take these apocalyptic claims more seriously than others. The Bobcats must have taken it to heart.Preparing for the end of the world, teammates put basketball into perspective. I can imagine their locker room pep talks after some of the games. “C’mon guys, it’s one loss; it’s not the end of the world”. It would explain their mental miscues. It would explain them giving up more than 100 points in 14 of the last 15 games. I don’t know too many people who have passing on their bucket list. Who can blame the ‘Cats? If I thought the world were going to end, I surely would have focused on more important things than playing defense. If this explains everything, the squad will be back to their winning ways in no time. Now that the day is over, the group can re-focus on playing the basketball that it was playing early in the season.

The Mayans had the Bobcats all freaked out.

The Mayans had the Bobcats all freaked out.

Some other ideas to consider:

They are point shaving.
As we know, MJ likes to gamble, and his casino debt has sometimes been legendary. Maybe MJ lost too much at the craps tables one night, and needed some quick cash. What better way to win that money back than to have your team go on one of those “15 game losing streaks that is typical of the Bobcats?” Wink wink. It’s brilliant. Jordan shares some of the profits with the squad, and in turn the team makes a few too many mistakes each game. However, Jordan wants to maximize his revenue, so he will soon start telling the guys that they can win again. He gave the team plenty of time to start playing better basketball and winning games.

They are excited for the Holidays.
Charlotte has not won a game in December before Christmas since December 14, 2010. I get it. The anticipation for the event overwhelms them. D.J. Augustin can’t wait for his new Chris Paul jersey. Byron Mullins can’t wait until Santa Claus gets him NBA 2k12. It’s reasonable that they would be more focused on getting a present under the tree than getting through a screen.

Opposing teams are taking them more seriously because they are finally wearing intimidating jerseys.
The new uniforms were announced in the summer of last year. The sharp look contrasts the orange-striped Charlotte jerseys of yore that made players look like brook trout. Opponents now take them seriously, and the Bobcats have not yet adjusted to the harder competition. Let’s hope this isn’t the case.

They want the #1 draft pick in next year’s draft.
Last year, Charlotte had the best chance to get the top pick and lost it in the lottery system to New Orleans. But everyone knows MJ isn’t a quitter. He wants to lose as many games as he can this year so he can finally win the #1 draft pick. That’ll teach David Stern and that damn envelope guy not to mess with him.

If none of these applies, I’m stumped.

Did I have a misguided belief in the magic of the Bobcats this season? Maybe. But this dreadful run of games is not the end of the world for the Bobcats. The team still has the talent to make a run at the playoffs if they can recover quickly. (Editor’s note: Really quickly.) Even without MJ dominating on the court.

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