As the Season Comes to a Close, and the Playoffs are on the Horizon…



Gotta love these Bobcats!

(Photo Courtesy – Bobcats Brazil Twitter Account)

As this Bobcats season began, I had high hopes for the team.  I believed that they could win 41 games.  I really did.  I believed that they could be a .500 win team.  When I attended the Media Day, I bought a Bobcats playoff hat from the 1 time the Bobcats made the playoffs.  While fully believing that we would be a .500 team this year, I believed that I had plucked out a gem because I didn’t think a .500 team would come close to being in the running for a playoff spot.  I didn’t think the east could be so weak that even a sub-.500 team would be chasing a playoff spot.  I felt that this hat would become a rare commodity, sought out by NBA collectors everywhere.  I also have the “First Playoff Appearance” tee shirt that I’ve never worn.  It would be another collector’s item…right?  The team formerly known as the Charlotte Bobcats will soon be gone.  That 2009-2010 playoffs would be the only playoff appearance for the team soon to be the Charlotte Hornets, right?  WRONG! 


Here we are, 12 games away from the end of the season, and we are sitting at a #7 playoff spot.  What’s left in those 12 games?  We’re looking at facing Brooklyn one more time, Atlanta one more time, and Washington two more times.  You can throw Chicago into that mix of games as well.  Those are important ones because they represent the 5th through the 8th playoff spots.  Wins could slide us up to as high as a 5th seed (with a little losing from the teams ahead of us), and losses could plummet us to the 8th seed.  I really think it would take a lot of failure by us, and a lot of victories by other teams to get us out of the playoffs.

So my collectors’ items are at risk of not being so collectible.  The beauty of it is that I’m not mad about it.  I’m not mad at all.  I’m tickled teal and purple that it will be just a shirt and a hat.  One last hurrah that the Bobcats fans get to have before the swarm of the Hornets name returns home for the 2014-2015 season.  I was a Hornets fan when they hit the town in the 80s.  I’ve been a Bobcats fan since day 1, and that wasn’t an easy thing to do with the lack of TV coverage of games and living an hour away from Charlotte.  But here we all are, looking at the NBA playoffs in 2014.  What a great feeling.  The organization wanted the playoffs to be a reality, and it appears to be so.  The fans wanted the return of the Hornets name to be a reality, and it has come to fruition.  There should be tons of happy fans in the Queen City.

Wins bring fans out to games.  The return of the Hornets name also brings fans out to games.  The result of all of this should be a playoff atmosphere in Time Warner Cable Arena that rivals the “Hive” of old.  The noise should be deafening.  The opposing team should not be looking forward to their visit to the Queen City.  Most importantly, the NBA should be alive and well in Charlotte, with a future that is bigger and brighter than the Hornets 1.0 ever was.  Michael Jordan has done what needed to be done in order to build a franchise the right way.  This summer will be the first summer that we don’t have “dead wood” on the roster.  Moves will be made to propel us deep into the playoffs as the Hornets next season.  I’ve never been more certain of this, than anything in my life as a sports fan.  For those who wanted us to have one more horrendous season so we could have one more run in the draft lotto…phooey!  Big Al will get more help this summer, and with the return of Jeff Taylor, and his improvement, and the improvement of Cody, MKG, Kemba, and the rest of the gang, next year will be the year of the Hornets.

Mark my words…


In the meantime, the organization wants to focus on the Bobcats and this run to the playoffs.  They want that focus to be so intense, that the SWARM was not in attendance for the Buzz City night this past Saturday.  That was OK, but I also hope that the organization remembers the SuperFans and the Cats Crazies.  We were there from day 1, cheering on a sub-par team that took the court every night.  We gave every ounce of our energy to the team, and the team did what they could.  With this playoff push, I would think that the organization would want the insane fandimonium that the Cats Crazies/SuperFans have always brought the Bobcats.  The biggest difference is that the arena would be engaged with the Crazies.  We would finally have the opportunity to get the entire arena as hyped up as we are.  There’s something BIG to cheer about, and it includes Big Al, MKG, Kemba, Cody, McRoberts, Hendo…EVERYBODY!  If there was ever a time to get the roof to blow off of the arena, now is that time.  So, to the Bobcats organization, Josh Rosen, Mike Cristaldi, Ed Ibarguen, Ron Chase, & Mr. Jordan…this is my one plea:

Get the Cats Crazies in the arena for the playoffs.  You want the hype?  We’ll bring the hype.  You want the noise?  We’ll bring the noise!  Most importantly, you want fans that truly love these Bobcats, and who have stood and battled and defended this organization through the darkest of days to the brightest?  Well, the Cats Crazies are right here, waiting on that call.  Send that email…make that call…IT’S PLAYOFF TIME BABY!


About Andrew Lail

Lifelong Hornets/Bobcats/Hornets fan. "Charlotte Hornets basketball is my one true pro sports passion."