A while back, before last season, I listed some reasons we could be excited about being Bobcats fans. I figure today's as good as any to chat about what excites me most about the upcoming season.
First off, Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor are special players. They are both of a certain NBA caste that isn't exactly "underrated", but isn't fully respected by the public at large, either. They're good enough that under the right circumstances they might one day sneak into an All Star Game, but neither is a year in year out All Star caliber player, and they won't get the pub of similarly talented players because of their understated public personalities. However, they're also the kinds of players that championship teams need and rely upon to support a Hall of Fame leader.
And they're damn exciting, to boot. Wallace has something of a cult following in the league thanks to the reckless way he attacks the basket and plows down the court like a runaway locomotive (now, not so much thanks to multiple concussions). Okafor, on the other hand, is a throwback. He's defense-first, and thoroughly unflashy on both ends of the floor. But if you watch him closely, you might notice the subtle ways he affects opposing big men when they get the ball, and how that makes him an elite defender.
Among the rest of the players, I'm most excited to see what Gerald Henderson can do. The guy always seemed like a bundle of untapped energy when he played at Duke, and in every interview I've seen him do, he comes off as a very thoughtful and perceptive guy. Neither of those observations is a great indicator that he'll succeed in the pros, but it certainly feels like a bright guy will be able to deal with the emotional and social and intellectual challenges the NBA offers.
Here's one of those interviews, conducted during the Summer League.
(H/T to David Brody, who emailed me the video. firstname.lastname@example.org)
But that's me. The Official Girlfriend of Rufus on Fire is probably excited about another aspect of the season experience. I guarantee there are fans just as excited about 5% discounts on concession stand purchases for season ticket holders as they are about seeing whether or not Boris Diaw shoots 40% from three again.
There are the obvious things to look forward to, but is there anything else you can't wait to see this season?