Sitting around waiting for a goal to be scored in the World Cup final on this sweltering Sunday afternoon? Lucky for you, as is often the case on Sundays, there’s some pretty good reading out there.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Brian Windhorst offers a must-read on how the stage was set for these guys to join forces in “South Beach.” As the Sports Guy has pointed out, there’s way more to this story that will hopefully come out in time, but this is a great start:
Now that the move has been made, the veil of secrecy is being raised to a degree as people are beginning to talk. The Plain Dealer talked to numerous sources to piece together a picture of how James ended up in Miami. It is still a somewhat fuzzy picture, but here are the broad strokes…
And if you haven’t had a chance to read any of the overwhelmingly negative national reaction to Lebron’s decision, here are two excellent pieces from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Deadspin/New York Magazine’s Will Leitch.
Felton to Knicks
Details of Raymond’s deal with the Knicks are out. Apparently the deal is for 2 years/$15.8 million. There is a third year team option for a similar figure which could bring the deal in the neighborhood of $25 million over three years. Raymond’s decision to pass up the Bobcats’ long term offer last summer is looking worse and worse from his perspective. Still wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish his career back in Charlotte as a backup down the road.
Here’s Bonnell’s story for the Observer and some more quotes from a South Carolina paper. You can tell it’s a South Carolina paper because of the headline: “Felton looks forward to bright lights of the Big Apple”. Good grief.
Orlando Summer League
We’ve given the Bobcats’ mostly positive turn in last week’s Orlando Summer League short shrift here at the Baseline, but it’s not for lack of caring. Look for a post on the subject in the coming days. In the meantime, here’s Bonnell from the Observer with some thoughts:
Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown can be trusted with bigger roles next season… It’s dangerous to put too much weight on summer-league performances — you’re supposed to excel against D-Leaguers — but it was obvious Henderson an Brown are figuring out what it takes to be productive on the NBA level.
The national media outlets pay less attention to the Orlando Summer league relative to the bigger and better Las Vegas Summer League; and when they do cover Orlando, the rookies (Philly’s Evan Tuner and New Jersey’s Derrick Favors in this case) get most of the attention. Despite that, there were several mentions of the Bobcats young vets looking good.
Michael Jordan in Charlotte
Scott Fowler has a nice article in today’s Observer on Michael Jordan’s increased presence in the city of Charlotte and the Bobcats front office since he, you know, bought the team:
In the three months or so since Jordan bought the Charlotte Bobcats from Bob Johnson and became the team’s majority owner, Jordan’s visibility both in the community and in the Bobcats’ offices has increased dramatically.
Jordan has bought a home in uptown Charlotte five minutes from Time Warner Cable Arena and plans to start living there part time in September…
There’s also a slideshow of pictures from the Bobcats Fantasy Camp mentioned in the article. As I write this, the article is currently the “Most Viewed” on the Observer’s website, and I’ve already been part of an email thread amongst friends discussing it.
Clearly, people care about how engaged Jordan is with the city of Charlotte. The Bobcats are aware of it; they included questions about “how important” it was to me whether or not Jordan purchased a home here in a survey sent to season ticket holders recently. Seriously.
Hopefully, people at least see Jordan’s level of engagement with the city an indicator of how engaged he is with the team. If so, fine. I suppose it’s a reasonable proxy.
But I guess I’m just a different kind of fan (clearly, I have a blog). I could care less whether Jordan buys a house in Charlotte, or bowls and eats at the Epicentre. I don’t need to put on a “Jordan Brand” t-shirt and drool over him at a “fantasy” camp.
I’d be much more happy if the team made sound financial/personnel decisions, stopped whiffing on draft picks, and thus consistently put a competitive basketball team on the court. They’ve had trouble doing that over the history of the franchise.
2010′s playoff experience was undoubtedly a positive thing, but I’m still dubious of the Cats’ chances for on-court success in the medium-term due to salary cap issues and a lack of elite young talent.
Don’t sell me a bunch of sizzling Air Jordan “value-added” side dishes when the main course needs work.