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Gauging the Bobcats' Intentions

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If sports fans have learned anything over the past twenty years, it's that running a successful sports franchise requires good process. By that, I mean that the front office, coaches, players, and support staff all have a way of doing things that is proven, in one way or another, to get positive results. That doesn't mean they always will get positive results, luck and fortune being what they are, but that the mechanics of running the team ensure those people have done all they can to be successful.

What that also implies is that the team's intentions are clear. For every other NBA team, it's obvious what the medium term to long term plans are, whereas the Bobcats are as jumbled as it gets.

So it is with the Cats that I want to know what their process is. We're not stupid. I consider myself a pretty decent Google ninja, I comb through the Observer web articles, and if I miss something, someone, eventually, will bring it to Rufus on Fire's attention, so it's not like the collective community is going to miss any major information.

 

And what we see the team doing simply doesn't make sense. Yes, yes, they're trying to make the playoffs in an attempt to make some money right now, but that goal is at odds with preparing the team to be sold. Why would a prospective owner pay full price for a team that has a bleak financial history and a thorny on-court future unless it was an owner who, specifically, wanted a pro basketball team in Charlotte? Why not pounce on the Grizzlies or the Kings or another team that's been better set up for future success?

The apparent strategy of gunning for the playoffs this year at the cost of bad contracts that limit the team's future ceiling makes sense if the current owners plan on sticking around until the economy picks back up, squirreling away some funds, and then rebuilding with another five year plan at a time when it'll be easier to take those losses, meaning a seven or eight year plan. It's a strategy for an owner who plans to be around for the long haul. Given our current strategy, it seems longer odds that a new owner would take over this team now with all its obligations, sit through the current contracts, and then rebuild. Maybe Bob Johnson, et al, have put selling on hold for a year or two.

Obviously, they're not going to just come out and detail their plans for us, but it shouldn't be this hard to read the front office's intentions.