The Bobcats are going into their sixth year and have struggled at many things. The biggest are getting fan support, putting a winning product together, and landing big time players.
When the Charlotte Hornets left town it left many people scorned and broken hearted. People lived, breathed, and loved the Hornets. Mainly because when they were here they were the only pro team in town. It also helped that the Hornets contended for the playoffs more times than not. We here in North Carolina love winners and have limited feelings for perpetual losers. Even though they never won the championship they were in the running, and we supported them until that faithful day when they left town.
So after a few years the NBA decided they had to have a team back in basketball country. Enter the Charlotte Bobcats. Many people feel this was forced upon them without regard to the problems that could surface later on. When we residents heard we were getting a team, of course we were excited but the shine wore off and the notion of having to start over with an expansion team didnt thrill many of us. We knew it would take time and money before the team was a winner. This plus the fact that there was an arena deal that was made without majority consent of the residents really started things off on the wrong foot. There are people that will not go to any event in that arena mainly because we as a whole said no but they built it anyways. All of this has made it hard to garner fan support. So this franchise started off in the hole with the people they needed most to support the team.
More and more people are starting to show support but there is only one thing that can change the culture of this city and that is winning! Until the Bobcats are viable contenders this team will not have support from the majority of people in this city. As I said we are a people who love winners, we will accept loseing as long as we had effort and a chance at the win. I think bringing in Larry Brown gives us a good chance at winning and being contenders but again this will take time. Coach Brown is capable of making that change happen but that doesnt mean the people will allow him to stay here to see it come full circle. If he plants the seed of a winning product it might take more time than this city is willing to give him. I hope we allow him more time to make this happen but if it doesnt happen quick enough we will look elsewhere, unfortunitly. So until we see a winning product on the floor we will not be happy.
What brings a winning product quicker than anything else? Players that are a winning caliber. This is Coach Browns second year with this team and he is still weeding out the poor judgements of the past and bringing in players that fit his system. Brown started bringing in better players last year with a few trades and this years draft seems to be pretty good so far. But Charlotte is not a high profile city and what he needs most is high profile players. I'm talking superstars, not a whole team of them but two or three will work out well. At least a star that can be the face of this franchise. Any team that hopes to have a chance at being contenders need to have high profile players and Charlotte is not a likely place for these type of players to come, they must be trained from within. Mabey we could land one or two through free agency but at what price? High caliber players dont come cheap and players who reach that level after they arrive will want big money to stay. So what are we to do?
With the lack of steady fan support, a winning product, and high profile players Charlotte may never become what we hope for, and that is a contender. This team needs all of the above mentioned aspects to bring this city together and mend the rifts left by the Hornets. Winning games is the first step on that road. Winning games puts fans in the seats, fans in the seats brings high profile players, and high profile players bring a winning product. Lets hope we are heading down the right path to once again be a yearly contender.