Eight years ago, the Bobcats were just a rumor. Seven years ago, the rumor came true. The Bobcats were created. Our first coach, Bernie Bickerstaff. Bickerstaff had the tough task of making this franchise a staple in the city of Charlotte, and a respectable team in the National Basketball Association. After a couple of years, Bickerstaff was fired, and in steps the inexperienced Sam Vincent. Vincent's short run here in Charlotte was marked by frustration, controversy, and fury. He did not know how to coach, and players realized that. He was constantly questioned in the media, and in the locker room. After the firing of Vincent, the Bobcats rejuvenated the fan base in Charlotte with the news of the hiring of Larry Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, and the best coach the city has ever seen. Brown was handed the task of getting down to business, and that was just what he did. He brought his mind set of defense and pride, as well as hard work and grittiness.
Brown really put his stamp on the Bobcats with the trade of Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley to the Phoenix Suns for guard Raja Bell and Forward Boris Diaw. The trade was very controversial, as we traded our teams best scorer for two role players. The controversy did not last long, as we made a huge run mid-season, a run which almost got us into the playoffs. At the time we never knew what would transpire over the next year. The following season the Bobcats aquired Stephen Jackson, a fiery guard with a history of deviance. The aquisition proved to get us to a plateau that had not been reached before, but we were not done just yet. At the February trade deadline, the Bobcats acquired energetic forward Tyrus Thomas for aged veteran Flip Murray and a future first round pick. We also acquired seasoned veteran Theo Ratliff for a 2016 second round pick. These moves energized the previously lathargic Bobcats team, and vaulted them into the first playoff appearence that the team had not seen in its history, and the city of Charlotte had seen since the Hornets jolted to New Orleans. We were swept by the Orlando Magic in the series, but would not have made it there if it were not for our captain Larry Brown.
This team would not be close to the team we are today, without the coaching of Larry Brown. He picked this team up when we were at our lowest point, and lifted us to our highest peak.
He lead us through the hard times, and also through times of great prosperity. It is said that through adversity, we learn to appreciate prosperity, and in this case, Larry Brown represents prosperity.
This city will likely never house a coach as respected as Larry Brown. And he will be greatly missed.
Thanks For Everything Larry, We Will Never Forget What You Did For Us.