The Charlotte Bobcats were in a rut last season. It was the grittiest, grimiest rut in the history of the league, and the players were primarily unaffected by it because like the rest of the world, no one really cared. Winning a game became as rare as it was inconsequential.
Losing became general principle. As the season trailed on, the Bobcats were supposed to fail and they, along with the rest of the world realized that there would be not be a change in the culture of the franchise anytime soon.
Drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the first step that Charlotte took to repair the plaguing image from last season. To curve the trend of players taking pay cuts to not play as a Bobcat in the NBA, Charlotte needs to make the franchise look more attractive, court performance and front office included.
It will always be perplexing as to why Ramon Sessions left the Los Angeles Lakers to play for the Bobcats, but it’s a move that is only going to push Charlotte towards relevancy.
The signing doesn’t make the Bobcats a hot topic immediately, but Charlotte seems to be more than comfortable moving at marathon pace. MKG is an instantaneous game changer with his high motor, basketball IQ and athleticism.
Gilchrist has the ability to use separation from the defense to build momentum and can have a transcendent effect on the game without the ball in his hands.
Still, it can’t be lost in his potential that he is still a rookie playing in the Eastern Conference where just three states south is the best player in the league.
The Bobcats have already, however, altered the perception of the franchise by drafting a player that exhibits natural born leadership and hustle—two things Charlotte couldn’t even buy last season.
His drive and star quality alone make the Bobcats something to talk about.
The development of Kemba Walker is also going to attract free agents in the future. Instead of opting for an instant playoff berth and landing flat-faced, the Bobcats have young players that possess the intangibles that come with being staples of a winning organization.
Walker had range when he played in college, but his size was questionable as opposed to other shooting guards in the league.
Yet, during his time in UConn, on his way to the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, Walker showed leadership, hustle and an unrelenting motor that allowed him and the Huskies to throttle full force through each team they came across.
Walker improved last season at the point-guard position, and if he is allowed the chance to start, he can begin amending through playing time. These two young men sitting at the core of the Bobcats’ future are going to spark an interest in the organization one player at a time.