FanPost

Long term planning or instant playoff gratification?



In the pregame thread David made his opinions pretty clear and in the response thread he also made the comment that fans that just want to make the playoffs read blogs too. I find it interesting that sides are drawn up by one opinion over the other. David takes the stance that a lot of sportswriters seem to adopt. He feels the team should take several years of preparation to ready themselves for a real championship season. To do this, we ride out our existing contracts, develop our rookies and, although he doesn't come right out and say it most do - set up our future role in the draft so we can make a real killing when the next deep draft appears on the horizon. My guess as to an example of this would be what the Bulls did several years ago that enabled them to get (if memory serves) 6 picks in the first round and create a young team with beastly potential.

The other side of the coin suggests a strategy of picking up solid veterans by trading our younger players and draft potential away. This basically turns us into perennial playoff regulars lacking the potential to ever bring home an NBA title. The team that always comes to my mind here is the Jazz. - always the bridesmaid, but never quite the bride. After the jump I'm going to comment on a couple of things that I've read lately that might add interesting slants on the discussion. But I've created this fan post so readers and bloggers at ROF can weigh in with individual opinions on what is the best direction for the Bobcats to follow:

 

Should we be planning for a season 3 or 4  years down the road where we can make an all-at-once push for Championsip glory? Or should we follow what appears to be the current path and forge on in to the playoffs hoping moderate talent, depth, and experience will put us into position where we might get a little lucky and make a deep drive or two into postseason activity?

 

Matt Taibbi is one of those columnists you either love or hate. He writes frequently about sports in several publications including Men's Journal. He also writes about Washington politics and policies as a sometime junior editor at Rolling Stone. He recently wrote an article about professional sports that not only fascinated me, but gave a lot to think about as a sports fan. In it, he said that there is no escaping the fact that in each pro league there is only 1 team per year that wins the top prize. For fans of every other team it's "wait until next year." His claim is that team owners are very aware of this and spend more energy keeping fans interested and spending money on franchises that are going nowhere fast than anything else. Teams like the Cubs and the Red Sox became masters at keeping the local fans by getting the fans to embrace legendary curses and myths to blame everything on. In these cases, the fans keep coming back just to see what quirky twist of fate will rob the team of glory THIS year. According to Taibbi, sports fans are losers -- plain and simple. They are masochists who take their punishment year after year and then open up their wallets and pay for the chance to suffer and lose for one more year. It was no fun to read that, but unfortunately, he makes one hell of a point. In the NBA there will be 1 winning city. All 29 others will walk away empty handed and fans will buy the season recap DVDs to try and find solace in what limited successes the team managed before it was over. "Hey, we won 3 more than last year!"  or "If only things had gone different in game 5 we MIGHT have gone all the way" become the spoonful of sugar that helps the nasty medicine go down. Just a few short months later we start all over again with a clean slate and great expectations. Ouch.

The other thing of note is directly related to the NBA. Only 17 of the 30 teams in the NBA have ever won the championship. Almost half of the league has never gotten to wear the crown. That's a worse ratio than any of the other major league sports. Taking Matt Taibbi's comments along with this fact, it means we addicted fans of pro basketball are the biggest suckers of all.

 

So what "fix" do you prefer? The Arnott method which leaves us on cruise control for a couple of years while we plot a course for a big and sudden roll of the dice? Or the Jazz plan that will take the Bobcats repeatedly into the playoffs but be verly unlikely to give us the whole enchilada any time soon?

I'll make this beastly post just a bit longer by weighing in with my personal opinion. If we manage to become regular visitors to the playoffsI believe there's a good chance we'll be there to take advantage when one of the "better" contenders gets hit with an injury or some other problem that leave the door open a crack. If we plot for one big surge there are any number of things that can happen to screw things up and management has to be meticulous in planning it out. I don't know if I trust the current "brain trust" in Charlotte to pull that little maneuver off.

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