Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Missed opportunities

By the title, you may think this is another blog about the Carolina Panthers season gone wrong, but it's not. This is about the Charlotte Bobcats.

Wednesday, Larry Brown stepped down as Head Coach of the team, and within 3 hours, Paul Silas was tabbed as the interim Head Coach. Silas is a resident in the Charlotte area, but wasn't available for comment Wednesday. He will be available to media on Thursday following practice.
General Manager Rod Higgins was available for comment, and as some members of the local media were inside Time Warner Cable Arena for any potential announcements, and interviews, there were none to be had. Instead, the team announced Higgins was available via teleconference only. This while Higgins was also inside Time Warner Cable Arena.

This was a chance for the Bobcats, a team that the city of Charlotte has been slow to embrace, to eliminate the moat that separates them from the fan base. OK, maybe not eliminate it, but at least lower the drawbridge to allow the fans to feel closer to them. Opportunity missed.

Bobcats players were also out in the community Wednesday night, handing out Christmas gifts to kids that are less fortunate. They were at a Salvation Army center in the city. Those players were only allowed to talk about the event they were at, and not about the news that directly affected their jobs. Opportunity missed.

Sports fans in Charlotte have had to deal with a football team that has been dreadful in the standings. They try hard, but they don't have the same level of talent, top to bottom, as their opponents. 2-12 with 2 games to go is the result. The person who has taken the blame for that is team owner Jerry Richardson, and he has been unavailable to the media all season long, except for an appearance he made when the PGA of America announced the PGA Championship was coming to Quail Hollow Club. Other than that, it's been radio silence.

Fans in this town have already had to deal with one pro team putting distance between themselves and the fans, and now they have another operating under a veil of secrecy. This wasn't a decision made by Higgins. He said, in that teleconference, that team owner Michael Jordan met with Brown face-to-face, and they mutually agreed this was the best direction to go in. Jordan was unavailable for comment as he was "traveling," according to Higgins.

Basketball fans WANT to embrace the Bobcats. They really do, especially since Jordan became the majority owner. They want to be involved in the greatness that is the MJ brand. The Bobcats had a lay-up. Maybe even a break-away dunk to bring the fans closer to the team, on a day that the team needed to be held a little. Changing coaches is never an easy thing. They blew the lay up. The hammered the dunk off the back of the rim. They missed.

Too bad, because a little good PR goes a very long way.

Mike Solarte



I completely disagree.

I think your frustration at not being able to see or come in contact visually with the Bobcats higher-ups clouds your rationale. As long as people hear what Higgins says, there's no problem. Whether consciously or not, people aren't going around in Charlotte thinking, "Harrumph! I was so about to be open to liking the Bobcats in the middle of their most disappointing season after the whole coaching staff was fired but then the GM wasn't available in person and Jordan was traveling and couldn't talk to the press. That totally affected my situation. Well, sucks for them!"

You wrote, "They want to be involved in the greatness that is the MJ brand. The Bobcats had a lay-up. Maybe even a break-away dunk to bring the fans closer to the team."

I am a fan of the team. I know many others who are fans of the team. None of them have been distanced or alienated from the team because Higgins only agreed to a phone conference or that Jordan couldn't/wouldn't comment because he was traveling. Sounds like you're the only one pissed.

Furthermore, there's about 5 days, more or less, between now and the next game. Silas is available tomorrow. Where's the problem? Is it Higgins? I'm sure he'll be available soon enough. Is it Jordan? Do you know what day it is? December 22. There's this little holiday called "Christmas" in a few days. Maybe he wants to go home to be with his family? No, that can't be it, can it?

And hey, while we're at it, let's get pissed that the Bobcats players couldn't talk about the coaching change at the charity events they were helping. Is it too much to ask that the players focus on the event they're at so as to not take away from it? Nahhhhh, let's bombard them with questions.

This whole article is just a big cry-fest. Baby didn't get his bottle but let's try to make a big to-do out of it, shall we?

Michael Thompson said...

The GM spoke at length about the coaching change. A press conference with the new coach was scheduled. The players were at a charity event to distribute toys to underserved kids during the Season of Giving, and will be available at practice to speak about the coaching change. I guess I missed the "missed opportunity".