Well maybe not "fix". I can't make this team a winner. Nobody can. Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the history of the NBA, has driven this franchise into the ground, to the point that I believe this past season's University of Kentucky team could beat them on any given night. The Charlotte Bobcats are beyond lost as a winning franchise, but that doesn't mean they can't be entertaining and sell tickets. Let me explain my plan.
First, nobody in Charlotte "needs" good basketball from the NBA. As the Yachtsman pointed out to me this week, when you have the Tar Heels and Duke down the road in Chapel Hill and Durham, who is actually going to care about watching the NBA?? The Mecca of college basketball is at your finger tips, so unless you have Kobe, Lebron, or CP3 to watch, you are not going to get much better. With that in mind, other than bringing in the biggest names possible, who I should add, have NO interest in playing for your squad, what can you possibly do to put out on an entertaining show for fans and sell those luxury boxes and primo seats? Well, I am here to save the day. I have put together a master plan to "fix" the Charlotte Bobcats. A plan that will put fans in the seat, keep the team on SportsCenter highlights, and give this garbage squad the buzz it needs. A plan that can be summed up in two simple words.
Yup. That's my plan. This team currently ranks 24th in payroll in the NBA and NOBODY cares about them. What if I tell you that I can shed the payroll down to make it 30th, but still guarantee more tickets and merchandise sales? Why would you not take this chance? Imagine a team full of the CRAZIEST players the NBA has seen in the last ten years and imagine them all playing together every night. Traveling together, staying in random hotels together, PARTYING TOGETHER? This a train wreck that needs to happen. Let's do this, MJ.
Fat Diaw and Eduardo Najera's contracts come off the books this year, so that much is easy. Then, you have Augistin, Diop, Reggie Williams, and Matt Carroll all with expiring contracts next year that you can probably move for picks and cash to teams desperate to free up cap room for the following year's free agency. Plus, Diop and Augustin can both still be available to a number of contenders as pure bench players. D.J. White also also has an expiring contract, but has more upside than all other players mentioned so far combined, so he might even able to fetch you something more. But that's being hopeful, so either cut him loose or grab a 2nd round pick from the Bulls and be happy about it. Next, you have the longer contracts of younger stars with actual potential. B.J. Mullins and Gerald Henderson both have upside and don't get paid too much. They can be moved, OR cutting them won't cost the team that much. Make it happen.
Then you have Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, two young up and comers who you could argue have the ability to be major players in the NBA. C'mon now. Yes they have talent, but you really think either one of these guys will be heading an all-star teams in 5 years? Fuck that. Deal them now while they still have potential. Kemba Walker sold exactly nine seats for this franchise this season, and they were all visiting from Connecticut. That leaves you with the awful contracts of Tyrus Thomas and Corey Maggette. I'll get to local Duke boy Maggette in a minute, but until then, what do we do with Thomas and his disastrous contract? This part I don't know about. So, I'm going with a hitman. Pay a few thousand dollars, get Tyrus bumped off. Easy Peazy. I'm assuming the contract would come off the books then, but that is probably terribly wrong and I could google it right now to find out what really happens but research is for losers. This is my dream scenario god dammit!
Corey Maggette stays. I know he hasn't done anything too crazy yet, but watch him play a game this season. He looks like he is one "Why did you leave Duke early?" joke away from snapping and choking out a stripper in public. I have faith in him. Plus, with all the craziness I'm going to put around him, he is bound to turn. Plus-Plus, his contract is unmovable, and I feel bad having a former Dukey bumped off. I'm awful.
The main obstacle is, of course, that Michael Jordan isn't actually dead and actually owns the team Arenas would be playing for. But, this is Agent Zero we are talking about. As Agent 23, only awful things can happen, and that equals ticket sales and ratings.
Next, you bring in Metta World Peace aka Ron Artest and have your psychiatrist take Ron-Ron OFF his meds. No more Mr. World Peace, you want his name to be "Instant Chaos" and his number will just be a question mark. This is the guy that asked his teammates after the "Malice in the Palace" if they would get in any trouble! They pummeled fans IN THE STANDS and he still thought they might not get in trouble. Pure genius crazy! Plus, he'll only cost you 7 million a year. Read the Apologist's past post on Ron-Ron for more great stuff.
With an un-medicated Artest (I mean Chaos) and mentally screwed with Arenas (I mean Jordan) you have the basis for the most entertaining team in the history of basketball. But wait! There is so much more!
Shooting guard: EASY. Stephen Jackson. He was Artest's right hand man in the "Malice at the Palace", has been hit with gun charges, and is constantly being traded due to his volatile nature. I cannot think of a better fit. He still calls his decision to attack fans at Aubrun Hills justified and self-defense. Yes, bring him aboard.
Power Forward: AKA 47 himself, Andrei Kirilenko. The Russian born athlete put together some solid years in the NBA, and probably could still have pulled a solid contract this year as a bench player for a contender, but for my new Bobcats, he starts. He has been known for a flagrant foul or two, has a swinger relationship with his wife in which they give each other "free pass" cards to bang other people, there were rumors linking him to the Russian Mafia, and he got THIS tattoo. Holy fuck, sign this lunatic up! I bet you can get him next year for 3 million and offer him unlimited tattoos and cheerleaders.
Center: Who else? You offer up a veteran exception of 3,000,000 and you bring back Shaq. I enjoy his banter with Ernie, Kenny, and Sir Charles as much as the next guy, but playing with these other four madmen makes him a key cog in this ludicrous machine of basketball and violence. I think he should be allowed to wear his old Kazaam outfit too. (Ed Note from Barrister: This makes two straight Deeg posts with Kazaam! references. We are great at this.)
The Guards: As mentioned earlier, I already added Corey Maggette, who can play both the 1 and 2 spots. Next, I have no choice but to add Delonte West. The ultimate insane bench player, West is most famous for having sexual relations with Lebron James' mother, while they played on the Cleveland Cavaliers TOGETHER! You can't make this shit up. I love the NBA. West has also been arrested on gun charges after he cut off a police car in his... wait for it... three-wheel Can-Am Spyder. He had two handguns, a bowie knife, and a shotgun in a guitar case strapped to his back. A true road warrior like this needs to be going through as much airline security as possible while playing for these Bobcats. He also is admittedly bi-polar, has run out of money... twice, and just this past week he did this:
Next up is Antoine Walker. I know he is technically a forward, and with his shear girth you can count him as a center, but I already have enough forwards on this squad and he use to play a lot at the 2 spot in his first few seasons. If you aren’t familiar with Walker’s NBA comeback story, check out Chris Ballard’s amazing piece for SI about it. As you can imagine, the out-of-shape 35 year old failed in his comeback playing for Idaho of the NBDL, so why not give him the one year league minimum to help his financial situation. He’s already sold one NBA championship ring and has been robbed at gunpoint, so let’s give this pudgy guy a break.
The Forwards: I’ll make this short and sweet. First, we have “the Birdman” himself, Chris Anderson. He will be the only guy on this bench besides Maggette making over the league minimum, but with a savage Mohawk, a plethora of neck tattoos, and past drug problem, he’s worth it. Oh yeah, that drug problem? Rumored to be cocaine, which of course, isn’t your typical sports drug suspension. He was thrown out of the league for TWO YEARS for that. That's incredible stuff, right there. I say it’s time to get him in touch with Tim Connolly and get him back off the wagon.
Then I have two guys who aren’t quite crazy, but they intrigue me. First you have Jerry Stackhouse, who is in fact, 63 years old and still playing in the NBA. Did you know he was still playing? I didn’t until a random Knicks game this year. He’ll bring the possibility of old man hilarity. Then we have his current teammate on the Atlanta Hawks, Tracy McGrady. Tracy has been trying hard for the last few seasons to find a playoff team to pick him up for another run at a title as a bench player, but those dreams are starting to fade. Bring him on as the house dad and watch the comedy ensue. He’ll be the straight man to a bunch of crazies. Book it.
Center: Finally, you have to bring in the former fattest man in basketball, Eddy Curry. Curry is amazingly, still playing in the NBA for the Miami Heat. But, before this new comeback (in which he actually rarely plays), Curry was given a huge contract by former Knicks GM, coach, and all around fuck-up Isaiah Thomas, and then proceeded to show up to camp every year tremendously overweight and playing like shit. You have to love those guaranteed contracts. Anyway, Curry isn’t all that stable, having been arrested several times (once for tagging teenagers), and has had a slew of financial issues that included his home being foreclosed on. He’ll fit in nicely.
So with all that, the roster and contracts will look like this:
PG Gilbert Arenas-Jordan 1,300,000
SG Stephen Jackson 10,000,000
SF Metta World Peace/Ron Artest/Instant Chaos 7,200,000
PF Andrei Kirilenko 3,000,000
C Shaquille O’Neal 3,000,000
G Corey Maggette 10,924,138
G Delonte West 1,300,000
G Antoine Walker 1,300,000
F Jerry Stackhouse 1,300,000
F Tracy McGrady 1,300,000
F Chris Anderson 4,500,000
C Eddy Curry 1,300,000
Try to tell me you wouldn't tune in to watch this team explode. Instant ratings.
That’ll also put the payroll at around $47 million for the season, with tons of revenue coming in from people who want to watch this train wreck happen on a weekly basis. What do you have to lose, MJ? I say fuck it. Make it happen. Of course, acquiring some of these players may be difficult because their current teams may not actually want to trade or release them, but this isn't an exact science for a guy like me who just wants to see the most ridiculous group of players ever put together on one team.
Oh! I almost forgot the draft. No problem. Florida point guard Erving Walker was arrested this past year for stealing a taco and fleeing from police and Rhode Island forward Jonathan Holton was arrested for taping himself having sex with co-eds unbeknownst to them, and then posting them on online sex sites. The future is now Charlotte!
Follow me on twitter and let me know what a waste of time this was @TheScizz