Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Case For And Against the Charlotte Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats are possibly the weirdest team in the NBA. They are, certainly, the weirdest team in the playoffs. Watching them play isn't particularly joyful: They win by being tough, shutting teams down on defense, and frankly, not giving a fuck. Actually, let me parse that better. In some sense, the Warriors, Wizards, and, about once in every two to five quarters, the Nuggets don't give a fuck. In this sense, I mean that these teams are apathetic about winning, trying hard, or really anything other than getting paid at the end of the day. That's not the case with the Bobcats: they really care about the way they play, their effort on either end, and all that business. When I say they don't give a fuck, I mean they don't give a fuck about you. The Bobcats don't play for the benefit of their fans. They are indifferent to their following, small though it may be. They don't play to the cameras. They wouldn't care if the games were played in empty gyms. And, to be truthful, that's basically what they did more than a few times at home. Did you see Gerald Wallace at the dunk contest this year? I don't think he actually rolled his eyes, but that was the gist of his performance. The Bobcats just don't give a fuck who you are. They are going to play their game, and often win. Dwight Howard? Whatever, we are going at them. Lebron James? Beat him three out of four times anyway, so what of it? It's not clear if the Bobcats even care about winning any games in the playoffs; you get the impression that they wouldn't hate it, but that they aren't going to try to prove themselves or make a statement or make any of the other desperate-seeming gestures that other new-to-the-playoffs-teams, like the Thunder, have embraced.

The Bobcats are just too freaky to bother with that bullshit. I was going to write a breakdown about how all the pieces of the Bobcats came together and how this team of cast-offs, under-appreciated gems, malcontents, and spare parts reached the play-offs. However, Shoals and Ziller did a better job of this than I would have anyway, so I suggest you read that.

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