My, how things have changed for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Their roster got a massive overhaul, bringing in a new backcourt with Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon. They also picked up center Brendan Haywood on waivers, and added second overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 31st overall pick Jeffery Taylor.
That gives the Bobcats solid two-deeps around the court, with returning Kemba Walker at point, Gerald Henderson at the two, Bismack Biyombo at PF/C, and Byron Mullens at PF/C, to go along with who will be a reinvigorated Tyrus Thomas.
On paper, it's not a great team. It's a decent team that's still incredibly young and raw, and probably at least another season away from contending for the playoffs. They definitely won't be in the basement next season like they were last season, and the Bobcats can expect to win around 30 games, optimistically.
There has been a lot of fuss over Ramon Sessions and his decision to come to Charlotte. A lot of silly fuss, if you ask me. From people saying he's an idiot to the biggest loser of free-agency, it's clear that no one really understands what Sessions was thinking on his decision to move from what will be a contender in 2012/13 to a team that is going through changes and growing pains.
Sessions will receive roughly a $500,000 raise to play in Charlotte over LA, and will likely be starting at PG. He will also be playing much closer to his family (a Myrtle Beach, SC native), and he wants to build his own legacy, not be overshadowed by the legends that are Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and now Steve Nash.
Ramon Sessions is very likely going to take a pay-cut when you factor in merchandise sales, but still, Sessions chose Charlotte over LA.
And people, naturally, are jumping all over him for being a loser by going to a team that he could actually make a serious impact with in terms of personal and team development.
There is more to life than rings, and Sessions seems to understand that. He gets to help a bunch of young guys develop, work with rising stars like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and make a name for himself instead of being an "also-played" in LA.
Now, rewind to The Decision.
You know what I am talking about. LeBron James and his decision to "take his talents to South Beach".
Even to this day, LeBron is being lambasted for leaving his hometown team to chase a ring, giving up on what he thought was a losing effort in Cleveland, and going to a major market franchise instead of sticking around to try to bring a trophy to the Cavs. People hate LeBron for this. He is constantly criticized, and had he not won the championships this year, people would be all over his back still.
Why are both players being chastised? Is there no way to win in this league? If you go to your hometown team for virtually less money to play and help build a team while getting to play in front of your family, you're labeled as a loser and undedicated, and attention starved, or whatever else you want to throw at Sessions. If you go the LeBron way and do virtually the complete opposite, you're constantly poked at and prodded for years because he did the "evil thing" and left his hometown team to chase a ring.
Is there no way to win in this league? Why can't LeBron and Sessions play where they want to play? I'm not defending LeBron, the way he went about his decision was disgusting, but Sessions being criticized makes no sense to me.
Not when he's clearly a good guy in this league, someone who wants to build his own name and build a team back up to playoff contention instead of living in the shadows of giants, all while making virtually the same amount of money and getting to play in front of your family.
In the NBA, fan perception is warped. Players will always be overly-criticized for their decisions, good or not, and people try to find mistakes and problems where there really aren't any to be had.
Sessions made a move that was right for him, and he went about it in a way that was professional and sensible in his own mind, and in the best interest of his family and friends.
There is a certain hypocrisy in sports that can't be escaped. Fans and writers are all allowed their opinions, but when you really look at it, players can't win when they decide to leave a situation that wasn't right for them and try to find a situation that is better.
That being said, welcome to Charlotte, Ramon. Here's to hoping Sessions gets everything he thought of when he decided to come play for the Bobcats.