MJ's Mailbag - January 2012

MJ's Mailbag

January 2012 Mailbag

Several of you asked how we plan to compete and whether we will invest money to bring quality free agents to Charlotte. As I have said on numerous occasions, we are absolutely willing to spend money on players who are going to bring us to a level where we can compete for the Eastern Conference Championship. In the past we competed just to make the playoffs; that’s not something I want to see and I don’t think it’s what you want to see either. I want to see us compete for a championship, and we intend to do what is necessary to reach that level. I think we have positioned ourselves over the last year or so with draft picks and not overspending on players to be in a very good position entering free agency this summer. We will make some bids on some good free agents. I am not holding money in my wallet for anything except good players on which to spend it.

Julian in Houston wanted to know what we will be looking for in the 2012 Draft. While we obviously can’t talk about specific players at this point, and we don’t know where our pick will be, I can tell you that scouting is a very important part of what we do and it is something we take very seriously. Rod Higgins, Rich Cho and our basketball operations staff put a great deal of time and effort into scouting players both at the college and professional levels, and Rich has implemented a great system that allows us to be even more aggressive. I am confident that when the time comes, we will be in a position to make the best possible pick for this organization.

Tyler in Hendersonville, NC, asked what type of player I think we need to make the team more successful. To me, the most important thing that I look for in a player is a passion for the game. If you have a love for something, you go that extra mile to improve upon it. Regardless of the success I had on the court, the one thing that drove me the most was my passion for the game of basketball. If we can get players who have that passion for the game, that’s something everyone can respect. I don’t care how skilled a player is, if he loves the game, he is going to work hard and prove his worth.

Duane in Cincinnati was one of several people wondering about our center position. If we can find a center that makes sense for us in terms of how we want to build our team, we will get a center. However, even with a center, it does not guarantee you’ll win a championship. There have been a lot of good teams, championship teams, that didn’t have a center. There are ways of getting around it. If you can get some good all-around skillful players, I think that’s one way to offset that.

In staying with the center position, Chris from Indian Trail, NC, asked about the acquisition of Byron Mullens. Byron has certainly come in and provided an immediate spark. We were familiar with him as a draft prospect and we felt he could contribute to a team like ours that could afford him the minutes he wasn’t getting in Oklahoma City. Having said that, he has had an even bigger impact than we imagined he would. Byron can really shoot the basketball but he knows he needs to continue to work on his rebounding and defensive skills to become a solid center in this league, and we feel he can.

Remy in Saint Lucia wanted to know if Kemba Walker would be given more of the load and what our plan is for him. With both Kemba and Bismack Biyombo, those guys are learning the NBA game on the fly. They had no Summer League, a shortened training camp and only two preseason games to get acclimated to the NBA. It’s hard to put them into the position of playing right away with little to no experience. As the season is progressing, you’re seeing both of them getting better every day, and we anticipate that each of them will continue to develop and grow.

Russell in Charlotte asked about including wheelchair seating in our season ticket promotions, such as the Buy 2 Get 2 deal. That is a great question, and I’ve passed it along to our ticket sales and box office departments to determine how we can make that happen in the future.

Carson in Gastonia said that he heard that if enough support was raised we would ask the league about trying to get the Hornets nickname. That would be a very complicated and expensive process, and judging by what we’ve heard from fans it does not appear that there is the groundswell of support that many people believe there is.

However, to Rejhan in Michigan, who asked if we would have a new alternate jersey this season, I can say we do have something special coming soon, so stay tuned.

Maxine in Charlotte wanted to know about working for the Bobcats. We’re always looking for good people here at Bobcats Sports & Entertainment, whether in full-time or part-time positions. For the latest openings, you can visit the employment section of bobcats.com at http://charlotte.teamworkonline.com/teamwork/jobs/default.cfm or the employment page on the Time Warner Cable Arena website at http://www.timewarnercablearena.com/page/arenainfo/jobs. You can also call our employment job line at 704-688-9019.

Tony in Sunset Beach, NC, asked if we were considering trying to bring the NBA All-Star Game to Charlotte. That is something we’ve discussed internally, and if there comes a time when we decide it is appropriate for us to bid on hosting an All-Star Game, we will do so.

And finally, Curtis in Chicago asked if I would ever consider being a TV analyst with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. I’m not sure there’s enough room on the set to add any more people with those two, so I’ll leave that job to them.

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