SMILIN’ PAUL SILAS: A Photoessay

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(Photo credit: David T. Foster)

It’s no secret that Paul Silas was a happy guy when the Bobcats announced him as the interim head coach of the team. Way back in 2007, there was a head coaching opening after Bernie Bickerstaff was fired. And wouldn’t you know it, the team interviewed Paul Silas back then too! He was quoted as calling the gig a “dream job.” Over the years since then, the Lake Norman area resident has been asked if he’d ever consider coming back to coach a team. On coaching the Bobcats, Silas said, “That’s the one (NBA) job I would be interested in. If I had to go somewhere else, no, but I’d like to coach again here.”

So it should come to no one’s surprise that the man is happy overjoyed ecstatic to be coaching the only team he’d want to in the city he holds dear.

In fact, Paul Silas smiles so much, from now on I’m going to call him “Paul Smilas.”

Press Conference

I don't think the owner is too pleased about that jacket, Paul. (Photo credit: John D. Simmons)

"Waive Kwame? What are you talking about? I'M GOING TO TURN HIM INTO A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE." (Photo credit: John D. Simmons)

First Practice

"Son, you do the worst robot I've ever seen! MATT! Get over here and teach him how it's done!" (Photo credit: John D. Simmons)

"There's going to be a game where it snows, and so few fans show that they have to rope off the upper deck? That'll bring back fond memories!" (Photo credit: John D. Simmons)

Silas Era – Game One (Pistons)

"If I smile really hard, will you take it easy on Jack tonight? Pleeeeeaaasssee?"(Photo credit: David T. Foster)

"Psst...Dude, do ya think Bill Diehl* has ever washed his hair?" (Photo credit: David T. Foster III)

*Bill Diehl is a prominent attorney in Charlotte who has courtside tickets to the Bobcats. In the past, he defended Rae Carruth and former Hornets owner, George Shinn, in their respective cases. In Shinn’s sexual harassment trial, he channeled his inner Johnnie Cochran saying, “If she wasn’t bitin’, she wasn’t fightin’. ” His hair is usually much greasier and thinner than in this photo.

"Fresh cut, coach! You got a haircut in the middle of the game against the Pistons? Smart use of time!" (Photo credit: David T. Foster III)

"This is SO MUCH better than being a candidate for 'Sad Bench Photo' on Basketbawful." (Photo credit: David T. Foster III)

Silas Era – Game Two (Cavaliers)

"D.J., have you ever been in a Turkish prison?" (Photo credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

"How can anyone not smile when they play the Cavs?" (Photo credit: Jeff Siner)

"Jazzercise for halftime? YES!" (Photo Credit: Jeff Siner)

Paul Silas Era – Game 6 (Wizards)

**Through gritted teeth** "Yes Tyrus, that off-balance baseline fadeaway jump shot while you were being doubled was good shot selection." (Photo credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Paul Silas Era – Game 14 (Hawks)

"You may have won the battle, but we won the war - of smiling." (Photo credit: Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

Paul Silas Era – Game 15 (Kings)

ONE SMILE TO RULE THEM ALL (Photo credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

And one last one, just for kicks and giggles…

Words - I have none. (Photo credit: Bob Leverone)

- Cardboard Gerald

You can follow Cardboard Gerald, Dr. E, and ASChin on Twitter at @CardboardGerald@BaselineDrE, and @BobcatsBaseline. You can find more of Cardboard Gerald’s writing at Bobcats Break and now at Stacheketball.

Fun With Media Day Portraits

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Gerald Wallace
Amidst the death rattle of the complex Carmelo trade (that would have netted us a legit starting point guard), the Bobcats began training camp with Media Day on Monday.

Media Day is a chance for the team to herd all the players together in order to take pictures, film video promos and bumpers for broadcasts, and give the local media ammo for puff pieces.  Maybe ammo isn’t the best choice of words…

Anyways, the best part of Media Day is the often ridiculous pictures that get taken.  The Bobcats official site has a quick gallery of some behind-the-scenes candids that probably deserves its own post (check out #13 featuring an inexplicable Stephen Jackson pose and #14 with an unfortunately chunky-appearing Sherron Collins), but what I’m more interested in are the portraits taken by the Charlotte Observer’s Jeff Siner, available here.

Portraits like these are inherently awkward; there’s a reason we gasp at our old school photos and snicker at others “Glamour Shots”.  The fact that these are grown-ass men in tank tops just makes it all the more awkward.

Lets go through these one by one.  Up above is Gerald Wallace — nothing to snark at here.  A solid photo befitting of the heart, soul and face of the franchise.  One of the few pleasures of being a Bobcats fan has been watching Gerald Wallace grow not just as a player but also as a professional comfortable with being promoted as the face of the franchise.

Jack

Stephen Jackson:  Again, nothing to snark at here, except for that souvenir ball from the team store.  Would it have killed them to use a game ball?  Also, note the not-so-subtle change to the collars on the jersey this year (compare to last years in the website banner above).  I’m guessing the all-orange is supposed to “pop” more or something like that.

DJ

DJ Augustin:  The likely starter at point guard gets the old “gimme a smile and a circus pass” treatment.  Probably also had to add “the trade fell through, you’re still the starter!” to get that smile.  Again, that ball — the UPC barcode is a nice touch.  Also a good look at the side vents showing the new material being used in NBA jerseys this year (click here for more on that).

Diaw

Boris Diaw:  Jeff Siner is truly a skilled photographer — Boris doesn’t even look fat in this pose!  Orange glow makes its first appearance in a big way.

Nazr

Nazr Mohammed:  Last year, Nazr morphed into a surprisingly competent solution at the 5 for the Bobcats.  This year, he’s apparently morphing into Lt. Worf.  Seriously, Naz, what’s going on with the forehead there?

Diop

Gana Diop:  Borrows the generic “big man pose” from Nazr, adds the orange mood lighting, and unsurprisingly managing to come off looking way more goofy.  Did we ever decide if Gana is Joey Crawford’s Avatar?

Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown:  Looks like he’s posing for a football card.  Could probably give the Panthers a lift at QB, come to think of it.

Gerald Henderson

Gerald Henderson:  Looks way too nice here.  Really needs to pose (and play) with an edge this year.  Maybe should have gone with Blue Steel.

Najera

Eduardo Najera:  Is anyone else getting a “Mexican Don Draper” vibe here?  Love the throwback dribbling posture — go get the ball out of the peach basket now.

Livingston

Shaun Livingston:  Skinniest arms in the NBA?  Skinniest arms in the NBA.  Also, is the clever arm positioning covering up the fact that he doesn’t have a number yet?

Crittendon

Javaris Crittendon:  If I was Jeff Siner, I would have printed out a couple of different pictures for Javaris, then placed them on a chair by his locker with a note that said “Pick One.”  I’m sure he’d think it was funny.

Ty Thomas

Tyrus Thomas:  I saved the best for last.  I love this photo — no joke.  Perfectly captures the potential that Thomas has.  Reminds me a bit of the famous 40 Year Old Virgin movie poster, with the innocence.  Now Tyrus the dude is no innocent — he’s had his share of professional indiscretions.  But his game is kinda raw and innocent.  Let’s hope he is as earnest as he appears to be in this picture when it comes to reaching his potential as a player this year.

Again, check out the full gallery of Jeff Siner’s photos at the Charlotte Observer’s website.

-Dr. E