About a week ago, in the wee hours of the night, Connor and I were on Skype, and somehow we started talking about the top 25 players in the Bobcats franchise history. Seeing as how the pool of candidates isn't very deep as the franchise is still quite young, we pored over the complete list, picked out about 30 people, ranked them beginning at the top and then stopping at 24, while the others became 'Honorable Mentions.' We originally planned to have 25, but the options there were so unimpressive that we decided to just leave them in the honorable mentions instead of forcing ourselves to choose between them.
In deciding our rankings we took a few things into account: sustained contribution and longevity, talent and production. It's a tough task considering so many players only spent a season in Charlotte, many of which have become footnotes and afterthoughts in Bobcats history.
24. Kwame Brown
Yes, Kwame. He's only been here one season and though it looks like he wants to stay, he could easily be gone next season. Kwame was never signed to be what he became this past year. He was insurance. Nazr Mohammed and DeSagana Diop both had their own histories with injuries and Kwame was signed to the veteran minimum to possibly compete for the #2 spot, or at worst, be the safety if something happened to Nazr and Gana. His minutes were inconsistent for much of the first half of the season, but after Gana went down with a ruptured achilles tendon, he found his playing time increase. That increased further after Mohammed was traded. Surprisingly, Kwame responded adequately, averaging 8.8 ppg and 7.6 rpg on 52.5% FG as a starter. The reason Kwame isn't higher is that who knows if he could have sustained his production over even half a season with the minutes he got towards the end of the season.
After the jump, we have #23-21 and the honorable mentions.
23. Jason Kapono
Another one year guy, Kapono was drafted by the Bobcats in the expansion draft. I can still hear the echoes at Time Warner Cable Arena emanating from announcer Big Pat's last "KAPONO-NO-NO-NO-NO" after the sharpshooter swished long-range bombs. Shooting 41% from behind the arc, it was easily his best skill, though he barely eclipsed 40% from the field. Unfortunately, he couldn't do much else.
22. Keith Bogans
Bogans is now most-remembered for being the weakest link in last year's strong Bulls starting five. But for the Bobcats, he was, well, fine. On the team for the inaugural 04-05 season and for nearly half of the following year, he was a mostly a defensive presence, though those early Bobcats squads were hardly defensive forces. His shooting, as has just about always been the case, was neither the most efficient nor consistent, but his defense was passable.
21. Derek Anderson
Anderson came to Charlotte for the sunset of his career, a veteran presence on a young team. He wasn't great, or even good, really; but being decent will get you this far on the top 24 Bobcats of all-time list. Anderson was still pretty versatile and could knock shots down from downtown (35.5% in his first season, 36.5% in his second with the Cats).
20. Tyson Chandler
Undoubtedly talented, Chandler couldn't stay healthy to contribute to the playoff-bound 2009-10 Bobcats. He was an above-average defender and rebounder, but had a very limited offensive set outside of alley-oops and putback dunks. He also got into foul trouble a good bit. His dedication to the team came into question with Gerald Wallace even questioning Chandler's heart after one game.