(NOTE: Now that most NBA rosters have taken shape for the upcoming year, Jason and I will be previewing a hand-picked selection of teams that stand out for their unique shades of terrible.)

I can picture Mike Dunlap (that’s because I just googled him…one minute ago I had absolutely no idea what he looked like), in full press conference mode four months from now after the Bobcats drop their tenth straight game.  A reporter asks him how he keeps his young team positive, especially when, you know, 49% of the team’s total salary is being spent on Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas, and DeSagana Diop.

Dunlap stares down the reporter, and then erupts.

“Stephen Jackson’s not walking through that door, fans.  Gerald Wallace is not walking through that door, and Raymond Felton is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they're gonna be grey and old, or, in Felton’s case, they’ll look like they’ve eaten someone grey and old. What we are is young, exciting, hard-working and going to improve...As soon as you fans realize that those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us.”

dunlap and walker
OMG…you’re that dude that makes those great instructional DVDs!  

Those types of press conferences happen in Boston, not in Charlotte, though.  Does anyone even care that the Bobcats were awful last year?  Historically awful?  Or that the only version of Bobcats glory that Dunlap can ever refer back to is the 2009-10 first-round playoff exit, which occurred in the “one year that players listen to Larry Brown” phase of the Larry Brown cycle? (Or, as it’s also known, “one year before players tune out Larry Brown.”)

You already know that the Bobcats own the worst winning percentage in a single season in NBA history.  But here’s a couple more stats to show you how bad last year was:

            1) Exactly ONE player on the team shot over 50% from the field.  That player was Derrick Brown.

2) Despite the apparent multitude of (offensive) rebounding opportunities, no Bobcats player averaged over 5.8 rebounds

3) The team’s field goal percentage was so bad (41.4) that having Brandon Jennings on their roster last year would have actually IMPROVED their percentage.

Things won’t be getting better anytime soon.  Just check out their roster for next year.  One of the few nice things you can say about it (besides mentioning MKG of course) is that Ramon Sessions is a great fit, since he is terrible in the playoffs and won’t have to worry about that type of pressure in Charlotte.  But maybe Bobcats fans can take solace in the fact that their leadership has a strategic plan.  It’s a two-step plan that goes like this: (1) Do everything short of throwing games to ensure an awful win-loss record (2) Pray to whatever god gave Tim Duncan to the Spurs and Kevin Durant to the Thunder.

sessions and haywood3
New Bobcats Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood step into the 
media-frenzied waters of Charlotte as reporters clamor for attention.

As Henry Abbott recently pointed out, this seems to be the default strategy of all former Thunder front office employees.  The Magic (run by former Presti-an Rob Hannigan) took a terrible trade for Howard because it makes more sense for them to be awful and hope for a franchise-changing draft pick than to swallow a max contract for Brook Lopez and lock themselves into first-round playoff exits (at best) for the next five years.  For the Bobcats and Magic, the 2012-13 marketing campaign is basically “Be the first to get on the 2020 bandwagon!”

To the Bobcats credit, they have found new and ingenious ways of setting up their team for failure.  Along with a middle-of-the-ACC-pack roster, they decided to hire Dunlap, whose previous gig was being an assistant at St. John’s.  Supposedly, Dunlap is a “coach’s coach” of sorts, a guy who is appreciated by those in the business, but unknown outside the coaching circles.  In other words, he’s great at developing talent, making instructional DVDs, and publishing coaching-related articles (including the 1987 gem “Basic Framework for Achieving Academic Eligibility for Your Players,” which North Carolina should have read.  Or maybe they did, and that’s the problem.)  He’s the perfect assistant coach, so of course he’s been given the head coaching job.  I can only assume he impressed Michael Jordan with his performance in one-on-one games against the other coaching candidates.

The cherry on top of this lottery-bound mess is the decision to allow the Democratic National Convention to take over the Bobcats home at exactly the same time that teams are beginning their training camps.  Instead of practicing in an NBA-appropriate facility, the Bobcats will spend the majority of September with two-hour-a-day access to the Johnson and Wales University gym.  To rephrase: an NBA franchise will be practicing for most of September in a gym belonging to a 2,500 student college.

Enjoy your rookie season, MKG.  It’ll get better in 2020.
Blogger Jacob Greenberg said...
This. This is great.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I really enjoyed this post(I also like Jason's work). Very funny and some interesting stats. What happened to the first guy (forget his name) who "interviewed" to become a contributor? I liked his trial submission. Maybe not hilarious but not lacking in humor and excellent analytically.

Anonymous David said...
I really, really don't mean to insult any Bobcats fan that might read this, but they are such a joke of a franchise that not even a relocation & a namechange would change their loser identity.

Blogger Fishy said...
I second Jacob. I would give a more thorough review but all I know is I laughed and that's why I keep coming to this site, so thanks!

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Anon - appreciate your enthusiasm, and thanks for calling my attention to my neglect of "Glenn"...I failed to respond to a mail of his from about a month ago, and have sent him an e-mail to apologize, to try to re-establish communication and, and to see if he is still interested in contributing.


Anonymous AlabamaKid said...
I like how you accidentally called him Roman in the caption. But i have to admit i actually like the Bobcats since they, ahm well, started to exist. I know my bad. Still i'm moderately convinced they can make the leap to second worst record of the upcoming season...

Anonymous JJ said...
I don't know if it's just me, but Mike Dunlap doesn't look right doing that kind of a handshake. Somehow it bothers me.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Enjoy your rookie season, MKG. It’ll get better in 2020.

"You wanna bet on that?" - Michael Jordan

nice post, thanks for writing!!!

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