Since its inception, the Charlotte Bobcats have been a dismal team, chock-a-block with mediocre draft selections/trades/free agent pickups. But, undeterred and full of hope, the Bobcats have made a change. It isn’t the impending sale of the franchise, or replacing Hall-of-Fame coach Larry Brown, or another trade. They are revamping their jerseys to a brand new, yet eerily familiar look that management hopes not only to increase revenue, but also to increase the win total.
The base of any change to a uniform in any league is all about the money. New jerseys/apparel forces hardcore fans into purchasing new material so as not to appear foolish if they are fortunate enough to make it on national television. The secondary effect that the brass hopes will happen is a change in the culture and attitude surrounding a franchise. Perhaps a new jersey will make the players and fans forget how bleak of a season they just went through or are about to experience.
The previous jerseys sported by the Cats were emblematic of their play on the court, shiny and glossy at first glance but blindingly dreadful upon further review. The orange jerseys specifically were the worst offenders, the opposite of subtlety in about every way imaginable. They weren’t new age or innovative in stature, so the blatant colors on the jersey were superfluous.
The new jerseys are redolent of the new Magic jerseys with the faded stripes and the former Charlotte franchise Hornet’s jerseys. It is an attempt to go back to the city’s winning ways, the fond memories that seem far too distant for fans of Charlotte basketball. This in addition to the new look logo, although not really intimidating or cool looking, the logo is a start. A franchise that has failed to win as much as the Bobcats have needs to try everything to turn the ship around. Cue the hiring of Larry Brown as the coach, the new logo, and the reloaded jerseys to help change the entire culture that is the Charlotte Bobcats.
What this all means regarding the trade for the troubled Tyson Chandler is unclear. Chandler certainly ties in with the theme of change that is occurring in Charlotte. His style of play will shift the dynamic of the team, changing from the standard and steady Emeka Okafor to the capricious behavior of Chandler. At times, Chandler is phenomenal, playing game altering defense and maintaining a mean streak on the offensive side of the ball. What that means for Charlotte is inconsistent play spotted with impressive streaks of excellent basketball.
They were already changing their stripes before the Okafor-Chandler swap, trading away Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell. The trade brought in proven winners who know how to play exciting and successful basketball. They were moving away from the selfish play of Jason Richardson and inching towards playing in meaningful basketball after St. Patrick’s Day.
The new Bobcats have the highest expectations yet, some predicting a possible playoff push, a first for the lowly franchise. Larry Brown has been largely ignored since he arrived on the Charlotte scene. I suppose any position outside of the New York spotlight seems disregarded by the national media. He is a great basketball coach still, one who has a talent of taking the helm of a dreadful team and turning them into contenders (except New York, which is unfair because he really didn’t have a fair opportunity).
I hope that the new jerseys can help turn around the Bobcats because I enjoy the play of Gerald Wallace so much. He plays so hard every single game that it is invigorating and a jolt to the system. The more Gerald Wallace on television the better.