Chairman's Corner – March 2013
Welcome to the March edition of Chairman’s Corner
Manzell in Fayetteville wanted to know what our fans can do to support the Bobcats and help make this a place where top free agents want to come play.
The best answer I can give you is come out to our games, be loud and wear Bobcats gear Most players want to go someplace where the fans are behind them, giving them a true home court advantage. As a player, there’s nothing better than walking into a full arena where everyone is cheering for you and against your opponent. Players notice that, and not just at home. When they go to other arenas around the league players know where the fan base is passionate and invested in the home team. That’s something that guys may keep in mind when it’s time to decide on their next team.
Marcus in Boone and Matt in Granite Falls, NC, wrote in to ask about getting Bobcats games on their local cable TV providers.
In some areas, Bobcats’ games aren’t on because of the agreements between cable providers and Fox to air SportSouth, our broadcast partner. We would suggest that you call your local cable company and tell them that you want to be able to watch Bobcats games, and hopefully they will take that into account when negotiating their new agreements. In addition, all of our games are available throughout all of North and South Carolina on DirecTV and Dish Network.
We received a lot of questions about our plans for the offseason and free agency. Several of you asked if we planned to sign a major free agent, while some of you wondered about adding a big man. Rod Higgins and Rich Cho are constantly looking at every way to improve our team, and we are definitely willing to spend money on the right players so we can accomplish our goal of competing at the top levels of the NBA. We are open to all options, whether it is through free agency, trades or the draft.
John in Mooresville asked if I have any regrets when I see former Bobcats players who we’ve traded away having success elsewhere.
As I’ve said before, we could have kept things as is and been in position to compete for the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference every year. Instead we decided to take a step back and rebuild our team in the hopes that it would lead us to bigger and better things like contending for the Eastern Conference title and ultimately the NBA Championship. We knew this process would not be easy, but we felt it would be best for the long-term for our franchise. As an organization, we are looking forward.
Your support is very important to us, and we are working hard to put together a product that we can all be proud of both on and off the court. I truly believe that our team is moving in a positive direction. Our increase of nine wins from last season is the third best in the league behind only Brooklyn (18) and Golden State (16), and it matches the largest increase from one season to the next in franchise history. We had Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend last month, and Kemba should also be a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. We could be upwards of $20 million under the salary cap this summer and are likely to have four first-round draft picks in the next two seasons, so we are in position to add to the nucleus we have begun to build.
Nothing happens overnight, but I want you to see the positives that I see and why I’m pleased with the direction we’re heading. We still have a lot of work to do, but I remain confident that we will reach the goals we have set for this franchise. We appreciate the loyalty of our fans, season ticket holders and corporate partners and thank you for your continued support.