NBA Preview: Charlotte Bobcats (Part 2)

(Part 1 is just a miserable click away.)

If I come off as exceedingly negative about the Bobcats, it's because honesty demands it. They'll probably suck again this year, and that is a burden on the fans, but we can still have fun and seek wisdom in the process of explaining why they are the way they are.

Based on the last post, it may seem I'm dreading this season, but I'm more excited for this year than any other NBA season I can remember. Really. Today is always the first day of something, and the Bobcats have a chance to make it the start of their journey to prosperity. Let's run down some reasons to love being a Bobcats fan.

Gerald Wallace is a gift from the basketball gods. He may never play in an All Star game. He may never win a championship. But no one brings the hammer like G-Force attacking the rim through the lane.

Jason Richardson makes shots he has no business making. All last season, I'd turn to the people around me and insist JRich should stop hoisting bombs, because the magic was sure to run out. Only it didn't. He attempted the most threes and made the most threes in the league, and, somehow, it made as much sense as anything else the Cats did.

Jared Dudley threw his headband into the front row. Early in his rookie season, Dudley got some extended garbage minutes during a blowout loss, and he led the scrubs as they battled back against their scrubs. At some point, as he ran back on defense, Dudley ripped off his headband and tossed it into the rich folks' laps at the Cable Box. I wasn't there, but my buddy, Brent, described it as a bizarrely epic moment, and it's since been commemorated in the Cats' introductory video montage. Jared Dudley is Luke Walton without the same three point range, but with better rebounding. My mancrush knows no limits.

The ladies at the Breyer's ice cream stand downstairs at the arena will give you extra Oreo crumbles, if you ask politely.

Every time I've contacted the team, customer service has been top notch. Emails, phone calls, chatting in the arena walkways: every time I've dealt with team representatives about anything, I've felt like we had real conversations, and not some scripted interaction.

Nobody believes in us. If teams can play that card as motivation to go out and be better than their best, then why can't fans? Those of us who care about pro basketball in Charlotte--even if we don't endorse the management group currently in place--are NBA pariahs. Fans of other teams scoff at us. We support the Bobcats, after all. The franchise that national TV forgot. Nobody believes in us. It will be that much sweeter when we finally have a team that rolls through the league.

And finally, while everyone pities us, nobody hates us, so we can go to road games and emerge relatively unscathed. On that note, by the time you read this, I'll probably be somewhere on Interstate 77, on my way from Charlotte to Cleveland for the Cats' season opener tonight. I'll be somewhere in Loudville (yes, the Cavs call the upper deck Loudville) with the Official GF of Rufus on Fire, wearing my Bobcats cap.

The Facial Hair Project will begin tomorrow morning, and I'll be back in Charlotte on Saturday for the home opener. Let's get this thing started.

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