Bobcats Should Bring on Bebe

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Lucas Nogueira illustration by Mike s.

World, Get Ready for Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira

There are way too many questions about the crop of players in this year’s NBA Draft. All of these lottery guys are so young, and rather unspectacular, that it’s a mystery who the Cleveland Cavaliers will take with the First Pick. Every single team will try to maximize what they can get out of their respective selections, but the experts claim that there are no future All-Stars available this year. Some clubs are actively looking to make trades, while others are praying that they’ll find the next savior of their franchise. Bobcats fans certainly know what it’s like to watch their team go digging for treasure in June. Now, once again, MJ and his pals are trying to uncover a prospect that’ll finally resurrect the passion of Charlotte’s basketball fans and remind them of that winning feeling.

So, who are the Charlotte Bobcats going to select? Really, how does any club make a determination between the value of Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, or Victor Oladipo this year? None of the top prospects really seem to separate themselves from the pack. So, let’s cut through all of the smokescreens used by the lamestream sports media and get down to the real gem in the 2013 NBA Draft. You won’t hear the bros on ESPN, or sports-barking radio talk about this guy, but you better brace yourself because this is The Lucas Nogueira Draft!

There’s only one sure thing coming out of the 2013 NBA Draft – and that’s Nogueira! Most Americans don’t yet know of him, but the Brazilian baller has been exploding in the Spanish league and measures in at 7′ with a 7’6″ wingspan. Actually, we’ll all become familiar with him for his domination of the game of basketball and his marketable, soon to be a household nickname, Bebe.

Let’s be honest, there will be a ton of teams over-thinking this year’s Draft and passing on Bebe. But, I guarantee that they’ll regret it. Just as we all knew Bismack Biyombo (#biznation) would be the most amazing player of the 2011 Draft, this year we’ll all get an introduction to the phenomenon that is Lucas Nogueira.

Although it’s not yet known if Bebe can dribble a basketball, his highlights certainly showcase his invaluable abilities – throwing it down and blocking shots. I know some folks say that’s what Nerlens Noel does, but let’s face the facts – Bebe weighs at least 10 more pounds and has two healthy ACLs. But, it’s ridiculous to even put Nerlens and Lucas in the same conversation. Noel might find a jersey on a pro team somewhere, but Thursday’s big ceremony has only one real purpose – the first chapter of Bebe’s Hall of Fame career.

Just like Tim Duncan caught Lebron James after the Finals in 2007 and told him that the league would one day be his to rule, James must pass the torch to Nogueira. Surely, in just a few years, Lebron will no longer be able to deny that he has become obsolete after witnessing Bebe seize back-to-back Championships over the battered bodies of his super-friends. Resistance to Lucas is futile.

If Charlotte’s GM Rich Cho is bright enough to claim Bebe on Thursday, we’ll see the makings of the NBA’s next super team. It’s going to be impossible for Kevin Durant to pass up the chance to join Bebe and Biz down in “Buzz City”. Certainly, this is the kind of guy that Cho stays up all night insisting they’ll discover if they just work hard enough.  Over time, the selection of Nogueira will make everyone forget about all of the mistakes of Charlotte’s past drafts.

To all the GMs out their reading Bobcats Baseline (yep, all of them) – Pass on Bebe at your own risk. He’ll carry that grudge onto the court throughout the next decade of domination and throw it your face during his Hall of Fame speech. You’ve been warned.

-Mike 


POLL : What to Do with the 4th Draft Pick?

  • Alex Len (29%, 33 Votes)
  • Anthony Bennett (37%, 42 Votes)
  • Cody Zeller (11%, 13 Votes)
  • Trey Burke (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Trade the Pick (22%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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Hold On – That’s Boris Diaw

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So, it’s been nice to see ol’ Cap’n Jack and Boris Diaw reunite in San Antonio this month. I’m sure they’re just acting like bros down there – snapping photos at the Alamo, strolling the Riverwalk, and enjoying the warm sun of the Lone Star State. I was browsing the scores and highlights online today and something caught me way off guard. I had to share this…

That’s Boris Diaw Working Hard for a Rebound!

That’s it y’all. He’s proven us all wrong. He can actually hustle on a basketball court. Actually, the caption on this photo (jacked from the Houston Chronicle’s site) might even make you laugh. Check it out:

San Antonio Spurs’ Boris Diaw (33) crashes into Philadelphia 76ers’ Evan Turner (12) as he reaches for a rebound during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 25, 2012, in San Antonio. 76ers’ Nikola Vucevic is at left.

Although the Spurs were short-handed against the 76ers, the team started Matt Bonner ahead of Diaw. With a top-tier organization like the Spurs, he’s not asked to do all that much and that’s just fine by him. Really, I think this is a great situation for Boris. I can’t help but admit that I liked him, but just couldn’t stand seeing him on the Bobcats this season.

Perhaps, the Bobcats missed a window of opportunity by not shipping Boris off early in the season. It would have been smart to have received at least something in return for his expiring contract. Maybe they were working at it and nothing panned out. As Cats fans, we should be thankful that he wasn’t sent to Dallas in exchange for a ridiculously overpaid benchwarmer (via Matt Carroll/Gana Diop/Eduardo Najera).

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.

Cardboard Gerald and the Tale of the Jordan XI Cool Greys

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Oh, and Meeting the Real Gerald…

Whoa, I'm totally seeing double

Like many, many of you, I eagerly awaited the release of the Retro Jordan XI “Cool Grey.” I read about the release on various sneaker websites months ago and when I first saw the icy blue sole, I knew that I had to have the shoe. The only problem was going to be where to find it. When I read that the Bobcats Team Store at Time Warner Cable Arena would be getting them, I knew that would be my spot, especially since Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and D.J. Augustin would be attending. But I was still worried about the line that would inevitably form.

When the Bobcats announced via Facebook and Twitter that they would be handing out tickets at the Raptors home game that would allow for primary selection over those without, I saw my opening – but then it closed very quickly. I remembered I was still in Chapel Hill and it was finals week so there was no way I was getting a ticket. I shrugged it off and kept thinking about other options.

After the Wizards game, the Bobcats once again announced over their social media outlets that they would be giving out the tickets to those who wanted them once more in the team store during the home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. I was going to the game with a friend so we both picked up tickets.

Fast forward a couple days.

With my Social Media Ticket, I was set to go to the arena on the morning of December 23. My friend, Kendall, thought he had a better chance at the Carolina Place Mall Champs store. To make a long story short, he got up around 3 and was left empty-handed along with everyone else. So he met up with me around 8:30 a.m., we grabbed the tickets, Cardboard Gerald, a couple folding chairs and a few bags. Then we high-tailed it to the arena, not knowing what to expect.

When we arrived around 9 a.m., I saw about 40 people lined up by the first door at the 5th Street entrance. I got nervous as I didn’t expect such a line so early. We figured that there was no way that they all had the Social Media Tickets, and upon further inspection, there was a second – and more importantly, empty – line for those with our tickets. There was also a line for Season Ticket Holders that got their own tickets.

The deal with the different lines was this: the first 50 Season Ticket Holders with their ticket to the release were guaranteed a pair of the Jordans; the first 15 of the Social Media Ticket holders were also guaranteed a pair (not necessarily in your size, if they ran out of said size before getting to you); and the rest were just on a first come-first serve basis.

Audible groans arose from the crowded line as we set up our chairs at the front of the middle line and bypassed the whole crowd. All that was left was to wait until noon – and then 2 p.m.

While waiting in temperatures that I can only put as “giving-my-toes-frostbite cold,” we struck up conversations with other people. As we got chummy with everyone, more and more people arrived, stretching the line even farther and even the other two lines starting filling out. The picture below was taken from my spot at noon before entering the building.

A little after noon, we packed up our stuff and filed into the building in an orderly fashion. At that point, we unpacked once more and began another two hour waiting period.

To kill time, conversation with neighboring sneaker-hunters turned to the NBA. I must have surprised a lot of folks, being a short, white kid who was more or less giving lessons on the salary cap and the luxury tax. Then, the discussion eventually digressed and we crossed into the topic everyone has to yell about: Jordan vs. Kobe vs. LeBron. Instantly, everyone tried to talk at once to get their opinion heard, which of course resulted in no one’s opinion being heard. But things quieted down as the conversation wore thin.

Before we knew it, 2 p.m. had arrived. Security personnel and arena employees began handing out wristbands, writing down each person’s desired shoe size on them. Five people at a time were allowed to get their pair of shoes and then proceed from the makeshift shoe inventory dealer to the registers at the team store. A feeling of uneasiness began to fill much of the anxious people in the crowd as word got out that there were only 100 pairs, when there were many more people than that in the arena. Luckily, there were less than 50 Season Ticket Holders and then it was our turn.

Our sizes were still available so we grabbed them and paid. Truth be told, they’re absolutely beautiful shoes. I have never owned a pair of the XIs, but they are spectacular in person. The quality is on point and the sole really sets off the colorway.

After paying for the shoes, I headed back upstairs where the Bobcats players sat at a large table to sign autographs. The line of Bobcats players consisted of Stephen Jackson, then Gerald Wallace and last but not least, D.J. Augustin (or should I say, B.J. Augustin, eh, Tom Sorenson?). I made adequate small talk with Jackson as he signed Cardboard Gerald and then proceeded to the real Gerald Wallace. He signed his cardboard doppelganger and obliged to have his photo taken with Cardboard Gerald. I topped the whole experience off by discussing Jordans with D.J. before leaving. I was on Cloud Nine.

But unfortunately, many others were not. They had waited in the cold for the same shoes like I had but had no Air Jordans to show for it. However, everyone did get complimentary tickets for their choice of one of the next three home games, which is a fine consolation gift, especially for Bobcats fans that don’t have season tickets.

Congrats to those who got their Cool Greys, and to those who, sadly, did not, I wish you the best of luck finding those in the future.

- Cardboard Gerald

The Air Jordan XI Comes to Bobcats Store

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Wallace and Augustin to Sign Autographs; Win a Pair of Michael Jordan Autographed Shoes!

I don’t want to seem like a braggart, but I totally saw this coming. Back in October, the Sports Business Journal reported that the Bobcats Team Store would be expanding to a more Jordan Brand centric style. It was a dynamite move and I knew that this was preparing for a release of the ‘Cool Grey’ Jordan XIs.

But let me back up so I can get you up to date.

Releases of sneakers usually leak out months or even nearly a year ahead of time through the internet from some guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows Tinker Hatfield’s gardener. The exact date of a shoe release is mostly speculated or likely to change even up until a few weeks before they’re set to drop.  Word of the release for these leaked January 28 of this year on the popular sneaker discussion site, NikeTalk.com. I knew that the Bobcats were going to drop the ‘Cool Grey’ XIs mostly just because I thought, “They have to.” It’s too big of a sneaker release to not drop at the home of his NBA team. It just had to work out. And it did.

I understand that many of you may not understand the deal with sneaker obsession. It’s somewhat an underground culture, but I’m not going to delve into the culture of sneaker-dom here. However, know this: this Jordan shoe is THE sneaker of the year. I’m not trying to create hype where there shouldn’t be, it’s just a fact. It’s a fantastic looking shoe. This model has arguably the best design of any shoe, of all time. And this colorway is one of the best.

Usually the Air Jordan XI has the “Icy” clear sole. The main complaint is that the “Icy” sole yellows over time, due to oxidation. However, this year, Jordan Brand decided to used a blue tint on the yellow sole, which should impede yellowing at the least — oh! And it looks nice with the gray patent leather and white midsole.

This sneaker’s “holy” status pushes me back to remind you of the sneaker culture. Sneakerheads, as some like to be called, can be more than a little protective of their favorite shoes. If you’ve seen “Do the Right Thing,” you know what I mean. In fact, most sneaker enthusiasts won’t wear these ‘Cool Greys’ ever, much less play basketball in them, preferring to keep them “deadstock” (unworn, new in the box). Some, like me, like to wear their sneakers, even if it means risking their value and getting them a little dirty. Regardless, this shoe release will be HUGE.

How huge? Well, last year, the Air Jordan XI ‘Space Jam’ released nationwide. The ‘Space Jam’ XI is the “Holy Grail” for many, and brought droves of people. Desperate to ensure that they have a pair, people formed lines, beginning the night before. I’d expect a similar, maybe marginally smaller, experience this year.

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Pictured: Space Jam launch line in Serramonte, which is basically San Francisco. via JayJunkie from NikeTalk

Normally I’d probably have my friend, who is probably one of Charlotte’s top 3 sneaker collectors, reserve a pair for me through his connect at his local shoe store. However, that store isn’t getting my size (8) so I’ll be one of those guys camping out.

Which brings me to the Bobcats.

The Bobcats Team Store will be releasing the Air Jordan ‘Cool Grey XIs on December 23 (national release date). According to an email the Bobcats sent out, the line for the shoes will begin at noon (yeah, right. See y’all at midnight. I’m getting them come Hell or highwater).

And to make it even better (or to make it worth going, if you’re not a sneaker fan), Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin will be making an appearance to sign autographs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Also, the Bobcats are currently running THE BEST PROMOTION EVER. So, remember those shoes I was talking about? The ones that people will be lining up all over town to get? The Bobcats are giving a pair of those away – and they’re autographed by Michael Jordan. My instinct tells me to be selfish and not share because the more people who enter, the less chance I have to win. But, I can’t deny our readers this opportunity. HERE IT IS. I JUST HYPERLINKED THAT SENTENCE WITH THE LINK, AND THIS ONE TOO – AND HERE’S THE ACTUAL LINK, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY: http://www.facebook.com/bobcats?v=app_10442206389

So, good luck everybody! I hope one of us wins the coveted shoes! (But mostly me)

Love,

Cardboard Gerald, Senior Baseline Footwear Correspondent

Contest: Win a Bobcats Gift Package

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Merry Catsmas!

The Holidays are all about spending time with friends…and since all of our friends are on the internet, Bobcats Baseline is starting up a fan community for our readers to connect, spread some holiday cheer, and discuss all things Bobcats throughout the year.

In the spirit of the season, we have put together a holiday giveaway! Enter for your chance to win the ULTIMATE Bobcats Holiday Prize package representing the Christmas Past/Present/Future of the Charlotte Bobcats. The winner will be announced on December 20th, just in time for Christmas!

The Prizes

1. Past: A one-of-a-kind Bobcats Christmas Stocking (circa 2007)
2. Present: Our famous Gerald Wallace T-Shirt
3. Future: One Copy of the 2011 Lady Cats Swimsuit Calendar + bundled DVD

How to Enter

There are two ways to become eligible to win…

Option 1 – Click the “Login with Facebook” button located on the top right of this page and follow all the steps.

Option 2 – Create an Account on our site and upload a picture to your profile.

**You must have a photo associated with your account to become eligible!

Simple as Pecan Pie!

Post a comment below or contact us if you have any questions. Good luck, happy wassailing, and go Bobcats!

Contest Rules

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