With all of the negativity coming from our fan-base, I want to share this letter...an open letter to MJ, as to the opinion of our fans (Both true fans and supposed fans). He wrote us one, and I feel the true fans owe him one back.
Dear Mr. Jordan,
You wrote the Bobcats fans a letter explaining your latest trades, assuring us that it is for the best of the team. We were a team will lots of big contracts, but not a ton of talent. We were a team that had just enough talent to get into those last couple of spots in the playoffs, but not likely to advance very far, if at all. We DID have a guy that we all loved. This was a guy who has been the face of the franchise for 7 years. We associated this guy as our cornerstone, as we had done with Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry in the past. When you traded him away for 1st round picks and some "other guys", we were hurt. OK, you've probably read some of the comments on Facebook, The Charlotte Observer, etc...fans are pissed. I can't candy coat it and make it sound happy. The fan base loved Gerald Wallace, and we were looking like we stood to make the playoffs. With everyone getting healthy, we really thought we could make a run past the 1st round.
Now I know you're thinking, "Why am I seeing this letter?" Well, I'm going try to explain it. There are several types of NBA fans. There are the "fair-weather" fans, which are the ones that grabbed hold as we moved into the playoffs last season, and are extremely angry now, because things look grim in terms of making the playoffs again. They see not making the playoffs as a failure, and they think that we should be there every year, regardless if we have the ability to advance or not. There are the "player" fans. Those are the fans that love the players over the team. They will follow the player wherever he goes. They like the way the guy plays over the team that they are on. They fuss if the team does him wrong. They fuss if the team doesn't use him as THEY se fit. This is another portion of the fans that are mad because Crash is gone. The third type of fan is the "team" fan. I like to think of myself as a "team" fan. I love the Charlotte Bobcats and I am bored from the last game they play, until the summer camp and pre-season starts back. I feel that I represent the portion of the fans who are upset that Gerald Wallace was moved, but we still understand that part of a team growing is that you have to make moves to be better than a perennial "first-round playoff dweller". I understand that 1st round picks will make for a stronger team in the long run. I understand that substantial cash will be coming off of the books this year and next year. That puts us in an excellent position to actually have cash for signing free agents; All-Star caliber free agents that can propel us deep into the playoffs and possibly make us a championship contending team. Seriously, a team fan wants that more than anything, but will always support the team no matter what happens.
There have been bumps in the road. We made a couple bad draft decisions (read this as Adam Morrison and Sean May). We made some bad coaching decisions (read this one as Sam Vincent). We created some bad contracts for players (read this as Matt Carroll and Okafor). We made bad trades per a coach known for completely rebuilding every team he coaches (read this as Larry Brown and the projects he brought on as well as the "revolving roster" we had going on).
Positive things have happened as well. The arrival of Stephen Jackson gave us scoring and the swagger needed for the team to build confidence. Drafting Gerald Henderson was a very good draft move on our part (him being trapped on the bench because of Larry Brown was a step back though). Drafting DJ Augustin was what I believe to be a right decision as well (he has fast become a fan favorite).
The Bobcats organization tried to build around Wallace for 7 years. After 6 years, Wallace's skill set was so good that he was an All-Star reserve. This was a great thing for our team and for his career, but after 7 years, we were still just not quite there. At the trade deadline, the most sought after player that could net us a positive return was Gerald Wallace. It was a painful decision, and I would imagine that it was most painful for you, MJ, because it didn't happen until right at the deadline. That showed what courage you have as an owner. You showed courage to be willing to send our only All-Star to begin to build a championship contending team. This was a necessary move that you made. It could possibly be one of the largest moves that you have made since becoming majority owner of the team. For that, I give you a 1-man standing ovation. You deserve it. You are doing what is best for the team. You're taking what was squandered over 6 years, and doing what you know needs to be done. You have the championships. You played on one of the biggest modern-day dynasties in the NBA. I truly believe that you had insight as to what players and skill sets needed to be added to the Bulls, and then the owner and the scouts went after what was needed. Now, you're adding your touch to the Charlotte Bobcats. YOUR TEAM. You see the skill sets that are there. You know what skill sets and personalities need to be added to the team. You know what has to be in place to compete for an NBA title. You also know that it doesn't happen overnight. I believe that it won't be an overnight transition as well. I believe you have a plan. I actually believe it is a 4-5 year plan. I see that year 1 is over. I see multiple expiring contracts this year, next year, and in 2 years. I believe that in 3 years, we will be driving deep into the playoffs, and by year 5...we may be a favorite in the East, and possibly the pick for a title in the Queen City. The CBA next season has me concerned in terms of what we can get for our draft picks, but the draft is a gamble. There are great players that are talked about, some that are secrets. Some players are praised, and could become a bust. You have the scouts out there. They are looking at guys. You're looking at the free agent market coming in the next 4 years. I guarantee it. I believe you have a plan, Mr. Jordan. I will wait for it. I'm almost 35 and I have a 7 year old son and a 3 year old son that are both as big of Bobcats fans as I am. I've explained to them that in time, we'll be seeing big things from the Bobcats. They are too young to understand it, but I believe that when your plan is in full swing, there will be many, many things to celebrate down on Trade Street. I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings with you Mr. Jordan. I want you to know that among all of the horrible feelings I've read from the "fair-weather" and "player" fans, there are still a great and strong portion of "team" fans that are right with you, rooting for the possibility of a championship team in North Carolina. Thanks for your time.
Co-Administrator – Trade Street Post