Media Day in the NBA marks an exciting time for fans and the teams. It's like the first day of an advent calendar counting down until the first day of the regular season. The offseason has been long stale and Media Day is the first flash of the basketball spotlight in the night sky telling us the season is rapidly approaching.
Ultimately Media Day is little more than a tease. It's great to hear players in earnest talking about the previous season and hopes for the coming one, but it's also often just a hype machine about how the team is going to try to go more uptempo or how So-And-So gained 15 pounds of muscle or how WhatsHisName lost 15 pounds in the offseason or how blah blah blah.
So let's look at some of the players' comments and see what sticks and what misses the mark.
"Team chemistry has very little to do with coaching. Attitude, competitiveness comes from within." - Steve Clifford
This is fair. An individual's ability to devote themselves to a role to be part of a cohesive team has more to do with their personality and characteristics. However, it's the coach's duty to get their full effort by getting the players to buy in to their culture and system.
"We're not losers. We have a losing record, but that's not the character of guys we are. If we're going to pull ourselves out of that, we need to bring it." - Gerald Henderson
The competitiveness of last year's team compared to the previous one I think shows progress in internal fortitude -- and also talent, especially. And yet, it's not the strength within that people questioned about the Bobcats in either of the past seasons. The teams' clear lack of talent showed often, which is why they carry the sad label of being "losers." With added talent and more expectations, it's now up to them to shed that label.
"People forget Patrick made Dwight Howard. Dwight had talent, but Patrick made him." - Al Jefferson
I'm sure Patrick Ewing helped Howard's development a lot being there every day to work with him, but um, yeah, I wouldn't say he made him. Stan Van Gundy's principles and teachings in regards to defensive and offensive spacing were also instrumental in Howard's evolution to a superstar.
Training camp invitees
There will be five players on unguaranteed contracts fighting to make the Bobcats' roster: Jeff Adrien (PF), Troy Daniels (G), Abdul Gaddy (G), Patrick O'Bryant (C) and James Southerland (F).
Adrien was with the team last season, adding much needed rebounding, despite weaknesses as a scorer.
Daniels steadily improved his shooting from behind the arc while at VCU peaking in his final season with 40.3 percent. He averaged 12 points per game.
Gaddy went undrafted after playing four years at the University of Washington. His shooting statistics decreased since his sophomore season, especially his three-point shooting.
O'Bryant was a top-ten pick for the Golden State Warriors in 2006 at No. 9 overall. However, he failed to impress and hasn't found a spot in the NBA in three years. He's long and can block shots, but hasn't shown a proficiency in much else.
Plus you can head over to Bobcats.com to see videos and all that jazz.