Chairman's Corner – February 2013

Welcome to the latest edition of Chairman’s Corner. First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who submitted comments, questions and ideas this month. Many of you sent in suggestions for trades and player acquisitions, and a few of you even gave your ideas on additions to our coaching and basketball operations staffs. I can’t touch on all of the specific things you mentioned, but I can tell you that Rod Higgins and Rich Cho are constantly looking at any and every way possible to improve our team. We did make one move prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, adding Josh McRoberts to our rotation of big men, but we made and received many more calls than that as we attempted to gauge the values of our players and determine whether there were deals out there that made sense for us. We were all in agreement that we did not want to make a trade just for the sake of making one and that we were not going to sacrifice our long-term plans to try to seek a quick fix.

As we continue to stick to that long-term model, Miguel in Charlotte asked if we have found a cornerstone player around whom we can build. I think we’ve started establishing a strong foundation for the future, particularly in the last two drafts. Kemba Walker’s scoring and leadership, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s skill and intensity and Bismack Biyombo’s defense and athleticism and are all part of the groundwork for the long-term success of this franchise.

Speaking of Kemba and Michael, several of you asked for my thoughts on their development this season. I’ve been happy with their play. Kemba’s numbers are up across the board in nearly every statistical category. He’s averaging more than five points per game higher last season and he leads our team in scoring and assists. Michael has shown he can do a little bit of everything on the floor, whether it’s scoring, rebounding or defending, and he has nowhere to go but up. Both of them hustle and bring energy every day, and those traits are important. Their desire to compete and win is infectious and that is invaluable to our locker room.

Ernest in Raleigh remarked that the team is more energetic and exciting to watch this season, but asked what else we need to be a championship contender. The first step is to continue to develop our young players. We’ve seen great improvement from Kemba and Byron Mullens this season, and we hope to see the rest of our young guys follow suit. The second is to continue to make good decisions, which we feel we’ve done in the last two drafts and in our acquisitions of veterans like Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood last summer. The third is to continue to add talented, hard-working players to the group we’ve begun to develop in order to make our team better.

I got several e-mails from Australia this month. One of those was from Peter in Victoria, who wanted to know if we have a club that he and his son could join because they want to support the Bobcats even though they can’t come to games. Peter, while we don’t have a club, there are still plenty of ways you can be a part of the team. Right here on bobcats.com, you can sign up to receive e-mail alerts, view photo galleries and videos and participate in live chats during games. You can also follow the Bobcats through all types of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

It seems like every month I get a question about how people can get jobs with the Bobcats. You can always find current job openings on the employment page at bobcats.com, which you can access at http://charlotte.teamworkonline.com/teamwork/jobs/default.cfm..

The most popular topic this month was our team’s nickname. With New Orleans announcing their decision to become the Pelicans, some of you have asked if we would consider taking the Hornets nickname. We have been in contact with the NBA and we are conducting our own research to determine if that is the best course of action. As some of you may be aware, we have engaged a national polling group to survey both our current season ticket holders and randomly selected individuals in our local area to see how our fans and stakeholders feel about this topic.

Judging from the e-mails you’ve sent me, the opinion seems to be very mixed. Some of you have said we should change the name and some of you have said we should not. In fact, a few of you even suggested that we should change the name to something new altogether, and not use Bobcats or Hornets. There are a lot of factors to take into account and a lot of information to sift through. This is a decision that we will not take lightly and we will not make hastily. We want to do what we believe will be in the best interests of our organization and our fans.

As always, thanks to each of you for your continued loyalty and support.


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December 2012