Monday, June 23, 2008

The start of something new

Hello friends (my small tribute to Jim Nantz there), and welcome to the News 14 Carolina Sports Blog. From time to time, we'll be popping in with thoughts and ideas from the world of sports. Everything from who the Bobcats should select in the upcoming draft, to what should be done with the coaching staff of (insert team name here).

We'll try to keep things light, but also try to keep you, the News 14 viewer (and web reader) up to date on all things sports related.

That being said, some random thoughts from my scattered brain this Monday afternoon.

1-Kyle Busch is good. Yeah, like really good. He may not have said this publicly, and I have asked him about it, and he gave me the true politically correct answer (well, it is an election year), but the young man is driving with a chip on his shoulder the size of Hendrick Motorsports race shop. There is no doubt in my mind he went to Joe Gibbs Racing with something to prove.

He wanted to prove Rick Hendrick wrong for dumping him in order to sign Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

He wanted to prove his critics wrong. The ones who said he was too immature to compete consistently in the Cup series.

He wants to prove anyone who has had any doubts about him, and his talents wrong, and he's done that so far this season. Not to mention he's done it in his first year in the Toyota Camry, a car that couldn't find the racetrack last season, now can't miss finding Victory Lane. Good for Kyle that he is hitting his stride. I hope he stays on the path, and doesn't let success get to his head.

2-The College World Series. Any chance we can get rid of the aluminum bat? ANY CHANCE? C'mon, people. I understand it costs more money to make wooden bats, since they break, and aluminum bats don't (in general), but really, it's time to put the skill of the players (pitchers and hitters alike), back in. Hitters, in my opinion, have an advantage with the metal bat--just make contact, and it's gonna go. Pitchers have to try and be super-human to record outs, as it's tougher to get guys to hit the ground ball when they can take a golf swing at it with the metal bat, and just about golf it to the fence. Hats off to the UNC Tar Heels, for giving it a game run, taking Fresno St. to the brink. Not a bad feat to go to the final CWS series in 2 straight years, and come up short in year 3.

3-The NBA Draft. I don't THINK the Bobcats can select a UNC Tar Heel on Thursday. Maybe they can--I haven't double checked that, but given the Big 3's return to Chapel Hill for next season, a non-Heel will more than likely be coming to Charlotte. Where do the Cats go with the 9th overall pick? That's the $64,000 question. Luckily, I don't have to have the answer, as that's Rod Higgins/Michael Jordan's decision. Wait, that should read Michael Jordan/Rod Higgins decision. Bobcats areas of needs are many--yes, I wrote that. They aren't deep at the point guard spot, and at the center spot. Depth there would be nice for first year coach Larry Brown. The Bobcats do have talent, and they play hard. I like the make-up of this team. Raymond Felton, Jason Richardson, Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace....that's a nice group. The bigger questions for the Bobcats are Sean May and Adam Morrison. Both missed last season with knee issues, and May could be on his last chance with this franchise. He's missed too many games due to injury, and that makes folks ask "why are we keeping this guy around?" don't get me wrong, I'm pulling for Sean, I like him alot. When he plays, he plays hard and he contributes, and that is what you look for. Bobcat fans haven't seen enough of that in his time with the club.

Where do they go? My gut says that they may trade out of the 9th spot, and could go either way--up or down. If they stay at 9, the mock drafts list Brook Lopez (Stanford) or Kevin Love (UCLA), as possible fits. Both are big (Lopez at 7 feet, Love at 6-10), and would provide some support under the bucket for Okafor and Nazr Mohammad. Ryan Hollins needs to bulk up some more (but man can he jump out of the gym) to become an effective NBA forward/center.

I hope the Bobcats make the right pick, as winters can be long when covering a losing basketball team. Been there, done that.

Much more in the days, weeks, months to follow. Feel free to leave comments, and replies, as all are welcome.

~Mike Solarte

1 comment:

KA said...

I'd love for the Cats to get Brook Lopez or Kevin Love, but won't those guys go before No. 9? I heard the T-Wolves would take Brook Lopez at No. 3.

Maybe we could get Robin Lopez, but I don't see him providing the inside presence that his twin brother could.

Can we let Emeka go? What a bust.