« Video: Byron Mullens, Charlotte Bobcats surprise Boston Celtics | Main | Video: A message to Michael Jordan on his 50th birthday »

February 14, 2013

On the Ben Gordon flap...

    An incident Monday morning between Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon and coach Mike Dunlap appears to underscore the tension between those two.

            An Observer source confirmed a Yahoo Sports report that Gordon was disruptive during shootaround before the Bobcats’ Monday night victory over the Boston Celtics. The source confirmed Gordon kept bouncing a ball while Dunlap was going through preparations for the Celtics.

            When Gordon wouldn’t stop being a distraction, Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins had to intercede to resolve the situation.

            Neither Gordon nor Dunlap could be reached Thursday, with the team off for the All-Star break.

            This was not the first indication Gordon is frustrated with his role. When Dunlap pulled him from a game in late January, Gordon took inordinately long to leave the court and his expression showed considerable frustration. The two have met at least twice concerning Gordon’s role.

            Gordon came to the Bobcats in a June trade. Charlotte got Gordon and a future first-round pick from the Detroit Pistons, who took back small forward Corey Maggette. Gordon is now the Bobcats’ highest-paid player, making $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.

            The Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade that would send Gordon to New York in return for power forward Kris Humphries. The Nets have put those discussions on hold, as they explore other options before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

            With the Bobcats in a youth movement, nine-season veteran Gordon hasn’t been particularly featured. He averages 12.6 points and 22 minutes off the bench in a crowd of younger guards – Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and rookie swingman Jeff Taylor,

            If Gordon was disciplined following Monday’s flare-up, it didn’t involve missing a game. He played 14 minutes against the Celtics Monday night, missing five of six shots. He played 16 minutes in Indiana Wednesday, missing seven of nine attempts.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 14, 2013 at 05:00 PM | Permalink


Gordon is a chump. They only brought him in for the first round pick they got.

Posted by: Starter | Feb 14, 2013 5:22:30 PM

Gordon's scoring ability is negated by his ball handling, leading to turnovers. At least, in this incident, he was practicing his dribbling.

Posted by: eduardo | Feb 14, 2013 5:41:43 PM

Rick, what's the status of the possible trade of Gordon for Humphries?

Posted by: C.F. Cleaver | Feb 14, 2013 6:09:03 PM

rick i was hoping you would report that the rumor was false and get a solid quote from dunlap on the matter.

it wouldn't be true, but it would at least help us trade gordon before next thursday. now we're almost surely stuck with him. awesome.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 14, 2013 6:11:13 PM

Why did we have to hear about this from other sources than the CO? If it happened Monday, we should have read about it the same evening or Tuesday morning.

This includes WFNZ and CO.

Posted by: lkjaslfjs | Feb 14, 2013 7:06:21 PM

We need a professional coach and not a college coach. If we are going to have a college team, the tickets should be drastically reduced. I looks like another losing season...making it difficult each year for me to continue to be a season ticket holder!!

Posted by: SMedley | Feb 14, 2013 7:09:34 PM

SMedley...we have a pro coach. I have seen more effort and progress this year than all of last year. How about actually watching a game and figuring that out for yourself. We have some of the cheapest tickets in the league.
Rick...I can't understand how you continue to be one of the last ones to report major Bobcat stories, Isn't this the only thing you cover? I mean...its sad when the Gaston Gazette beats you to releasing a story

Posted by: Roger | Feb 14, 2013 7:35:57 PM

Dunlap must go, he has lost this team. Ben only expressed what the other players are feeling.He takes no responsibility for poor proformance, it's always the players fault not coaching. Dunlap is the worse coach in the NBA.Thanks Ben for calling him out.

Posted by: Big FAN | Feb 14, 2013 7:53:59 PM

Like the pundits on Pardon the Interruption said...Why was he brought in? They had to know he would be a disruption. ESP if he couldn't start over Henderson who's leap yrs better than him on both ends. He can't play defense, can't pass, doesn't make anyone better and the ball stops moving when he hits the ct. Dunlap should not have to put up w a chump like this. Biz should check him. What's funny is Mj would never put up w all the jacking that Dunlap lets go one. Gordon 2 for 8. Kemba 3 for 9. Sessions 3 for 9 w one assist. They forced half the shots they took. Either make them run a pick n roll offense passing to cutters or fire Dunlap and get a pro coach who will.. McMillan, Sloan or Avery. If they come back w no offense as stated, a bag over your head revolt shall start at the arena. The fans are cheated and so are the young players.

Posted by: Iron man | Feb 14, 2013 8:27:53 PM

Get what you pay for. Dunlap,is a solid man but players don't respect him. Nate McM, demands respect.

Cho picked Ben Gordon so you Cho lovers put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Posted by: Spider S. | Feb 14, 2013 9:25:35 PM

I have been a fan since the old arena. I must say the way the Cats are not winning is concerning. They have lost a majority of their games by five points or less. What is interesting that the lion share of those games were loses where the Cats had a lead of 12 or more points either at the beginning or going into the fourth quarter. This type of consistency is a coaching problem. It becomes the rotation issue. You have to know your players and how they fit in the rotation, when to call time outs, and how to coach the closing of the game.

However, I must say, true professionals will do their jobs.

I just saying...

Posted by: BobcatsFan115 | Feb 14, 2013 9:49:25 PM

For those of you that live in Charlotte and go to the games please get a "Hornets" chant going. Enough of these terrible Bobcats. We have no history, except one of futility. We have the worst name and ugliest uni's in the leauge. I'll rep my Charlotte teams until I die but lets get the right name back. As for this story, Gordon's nothing for us. Get him out of here, who cares? We suck this year and it wasn't part of the plan to have him as a long term contributor. Use the pick wisely and lets built around Kemba, Big Smooth, Biz, and MKG.

Posted by: QCinKentucky | Feb 14, 2013 11:23:30 PM

Have any of you Dunlap bashers even considered that his hands are tied regarding personnel moves? Jordan, Cho and to a much lesser extent Higgins decide the Roster. If Dunlap had sat Gordon 2 months ago, Management would have howled given that Gordon makes $12 million. For almost every game, Charlotte has competed...won some they could have lost and lost some they could have won. No Team in the nba lost their leading rebounder for 19 games. No team in the nba has such limited 5s as do the BobCats. Walker has improved a ton from last season , yet even he seems to be stained by Gordon's selfish and lack of professional attitude. Sessions is a true mercenary...comes to work every day, does his job and keeps his mouth shut. Adriens is pure blue collar. Tough mentality. appreciates where he is. Is there any Team in the nba that would take Williams, Thomas, Warrick, Diop, Haywood, even Bismack? That's 6 players who carry dead weight. No way is that Dunlap's fault. Henderson has really productive games and really average games. He is what he is. The 2 rookies show Promise but they are inconsistent. Mullens has improved, perhaps even more than Walker. Bottom Line is the Cats may even improve more without the presence of Gordon and the other 6. Still management likely won't do too much down the stretch. It's all about the ping pong balls, folks.

Posted by: HootEvers | Feb 15, 2013 4:01:54 AM

"I'll rep my Charlotte teams until I die but lets get the right name back."

You do realize the name "CHARLOTTE" precedes "BOBCATS???"

You people make me sick. Never come back to the arena. None of you care to support to this team, SO DON'T.

Posted by: Bobcat Bucks | Feb 15, 2013 8:29:53 AM

Iron Man, who do you think Gerald Henderson is "leap years better than"? Gerald Henderson is HORRIBLE. He will not play in the NBA next year, I will bet the house. He has no basketball IQ, is lazy, is not a team player, and can't grasp any system. I would take a bloated Sean May over Hendo any day. Most any NBA GM would as well.

Posted by: WHAT??? | Feb 15, 2013 8:34:58 AM

If anyone sitting near me starts to chant "Hornets" I will throw my beer all over you. Book it. You old folks need to get a clue. The Hornets left town a long time ago. Get over it. Senile old farts.

Posted by: NOHORNETS | Feb 15, 2013 8:36:38 AM

@NOHORNETS I wasn't going to post on here until I read the previous post... Senile old farts? I'm a Charlotte Hornets fan and I'm 31. Far from senile. What's senile is how you think not bringing back the Hornet's name is a bad idea. And if you throw a beer on me, you might catch a fist. signed, Freedom U. Huggins from Charlotte, NC

Posted by: Freedom Huggins | Feb 15, 2013 9:15:24 AM


"Lost a majority of their games by 5 points or less"??? Go back and look at the record, they have only lost 7 games by five points or less. That leaves thirty-three (33!) games that they have lost by 6 points or more. A "majority" of those losses have been blowouts. I had so much hope for this team at the beginning of the season but they have flat-lined into, again, the worst team in the league. We have had a lottery pick 10 out of the past 11 seasons and what do we have to show for it: A one-time playoff appearance that ended as soon as it began. How many years can we go on saying "This team is re-building, it will get better one day". A decade (10 years with lottery picks!!?!) of waiting has led to no remedy. Something has got to change. Enough is enough.

-Disgruntled Charlottean

Posted by: Bobby | Feb 15, 2013 9:20:34 AM

Also, Ben Gordon is a scrub, please trade him :)

Posted by: Bobby | Feb 15, 2013 9:21:59 AM

The Gordon trade was great by Cho. Got a 1st rd pick out of the deal and Maggette is not even playing for Detroit (always hurt I guess). Gordon is easily our best shooter but other than that he can't do much else. He'll attempt to pass or dribble but you never know what happens when he does. We got better two way players than Gordon but we need some bigs.

Posted by: EP | Feb 15, 2013 9:35:53 AM

I am a Chicago Bulls fan and I had the pleasure of watching Ben Gordon for 5 years. Ben Gordon is one of my favorite players in the NBA. During Gordon's 5 years in Chicago, they experienced the most success that they had from when Jordan left, to when Gordon got there. Gordon was by far the best Bull between the Jordan era and Derrick Rose. The guy can take over games, plain and simple, but he needs a defined role. In Chicago, he dealt with some of the most inconsistent coaches ever who were constantly redefining his role. Despite that, he still was our leading scorer, every year he played in Chicago (even though his minutes were all over the place). I have seen the guy hit big shot after big shot. Game 6, game winner against Boston in 09, when he grabbed his nuts after (to show he had balls), was one of my favs. When the Bulls signed Deng to a overblown contract and spurred Gordon, I almost sold my season tickets. Frankly, I love this guy so much I am reading the Charlotte Observer, to see what is going on with him. Sorry Bobcats fans, but your team and coach blows. You have a guy on your team that is capable of being sixth man of the year every year and he's barely playing (yet still avg over 40% from 3 a game in a limited role). The guy suffered some injuries in Detroit, but if you look at his numbers, per 48, as a whole, they have remained around the same as they did in Chicago where he EARNED that contract he got. Please start boo'ing your coach and holding him and your GM accountable for having such a crap team. Stop throwing your frustration on one of the best shooters in the game.

Posted by: Mark Lewinthal | Feb 15, 2013 9:43:07 AM

Gordon scores the ball, turns the ball over and allows opponents to score in large amounts. Chicago let him go for a reason. They spent a number 3 pick on him. And let him walk.

Those bashing dunlap seem to have forgotten that he inherited a 7-59 team that starts a rookie, 2 second year players and 2 4th year players who didn't play their first 2 years. The oldest starter is henderson who is.....25. How is this not clear that by winning 12 games at this point they're right in line with expectations.

We should be cheering the fact that we get another top 5 pick as opposed to an 8 or 9th pick. Major lack of logic in a lot of you all's comments.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 15, 2013 9:55:42 AM

From Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star:
(Speaking about Indiana basketball teams)

"The only disappointment – and this is a recording – has been the crowds at the fieldhouse.

"I hesitate to criticize ticket-buying patrons because my press credential gets me in there free, but with a little work, a fan can get deeply discounted seats virtually any night of the week. We all know the economy stinks, but it stinks everywhere. Indiana isn’t exponentially worse off than other states. We’re talking about one of the best teams in the league and one of the cheapest ticket prices.

"It doesn’t make sense.

"This is a team the city ought to be embracing. It has every quality Hoosiers like in a basketball team. It shares the ball. It lacks ego. It is populated by good guys who reach out to the community. And yes, most important, they win. This is a playoffs-bound team that has a chance to keep playing deep into the spring, and yet the Pacers remain 26th of 30 teams in attendance.


What would happen to attendance in at the cablebox if the Indiana Pacers team magically became the Bobcats? It's amazing that Indiana has everything we want and still can't draw a crowd...

Posted by: Latavious Barnwright | Feb 15, 2013 10:08:58 AM

Hey, Rick,when do you think Charlotte will get an NBA team?

Posted by: Joe Adams | Feb 15, 2013 10:32:00 AM

Mark Lewinthal: In the last 5 games Gordon is 12-43. He might have had some good seasons in Chicago but right now he is an overpaid chucker with an attitude problem.

Posted by: apauldds | Feb 15, 2013 11:00:53 AM

He's on the team for a draft pick. Just let him shoot while he's here. Will be gone shortly. Let it rain Ben

Posted by: Fraser | Feb 15, 2013 11:54:32 AM

umm Charlottean, the Bobcats are the 14th youngest team in the NBA...pretty much middle of the pack. (source: http://en.hispanosnba.com/teams/comparison) Lots of teams in the league are going towards a "youth movement". The simple fact is that the Bobcats youth movement doesn't seem to be working. We are still lacking major talent and depth at nearly every position. Meanwhile, teams younger than the Cats (Cavs, Nuggets, Warriors) seem to at least be collecting decent talent and, a few of those teams (Grizzlies, Thunder) are among the best teams in the entire league! I understand that there are growing pains but we have been experiencing them now for upwards of 10 years. I pray that this upcoming draft drops a top-level player in our laps but things are looking rather cloudy right now.

Posted by: Bobby | Feb 15, 2013 12:49:29 PM

Dunlap is a clown and any self-respecting NBA player isn't going to respect him.

Sorry Dunlap but this isn't Hickory High, you aren't Dennis Hopper, and Jimmy Chitwood isn't coming out to run the picket fence any time soon.

Posted by: Fast Freddie | Feb 15, 2013 1:31:06 PM

The reality of the NBA is it is a league of Superstars. Secondary market teams HAVE to get lucky on draft day to truly build a contender. You have Tier one Superstars (Wade, Bryant, Lebron, Paul) and Tier two guys (Griffin, Gasol, Bosch, Joe Johnson) regular all stars that can't carry a team.

To be a true contender you need a minimum of two players from these groups and probably three to be considered a top team. As a secondary market you need to get really lucky a couple of years in a row like OKC did.

The only player on the Bobcats that I see even getting close to either of the top tiers is Kemba. Given - MKG is young but I am having my doubts that he is a true superstar. Charlotte needs to get really lucky and get a true Superstar to build around. Until then it's going to rough going in Charlotte basketball.

Posted by: Ken | Feb 15, 2013 1:34:42 PM

Dunlap is a joke as a NBA coach. He's on the sidelines clueless and looking like he has a lemon wedge in his mouth.

Posted by: D Hill | Feb 15, 2013 2:13:38 PM

The comments here are hysterical. Anyway, if you think Mike Dunlap is the problem, than you don't know the difference between a basketball and a football. You can post your "Dunlap is a clown" post because you are frustrated with the losing, and I get it. But he isn't the issue. The guy is a dynamite head coach and people in the basketball circles...other NBA coaches, GMS, international coaches, college coaches study this guy. So "guy in Mom's basement" who is upset that the Cats have 11 wins needs to understand this team wouldn't win with FILL IN THE BLANK as head coach. There are no players and the talent that they do have is years away from making a consistent impact. So continue to point fingers at the coach if you want, but your blame is way way off.

Posted by: COkid | Feb 15, 2013 2:43:49 PM

Bobby you clearly aren't very smart. Who are the old guys on the bobcats? Diop, warrick, haywood, gordon, etc. You are basing it off average age on the roster, not by minutes played. There's a big difference there.

Not to mention experience. Henderson is 25 and mullens just turned 24 yesterday but both are in their 2nd year of actually playing.

We have the youngest player in the league this year and the youngest player in the league last year in the starting lineup.

The only truly young teams winning are houston and golden state, both of which we seem to be modeling ourselves after. Indiana, memphis, etc. We're on that path. We started 2 years ago when we traded wallace and then jackson. We've assembled an entire starting 5 plus taylor plus another high draft pick coming in this year plus cap room going forward.

Where were all you idiots when higgins was making idiotic move after idiotic move??? They finally start building something the right way and you all come out of the woodwork complaining. And you all sure aren't at the arena except for conveniently the memphis game when all the bandwagoneers showed up.

This team wasn't built to win this year or even next year. But it is built to win long term. Big market teams might be able to microwave a decent team, but contenders are built this way. Golden state, clippers, memphis, indiana, etc. Were all very bad for a while before they became good for a while.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 15, 2013 4:49:07 PM

14th youngest? Bobby you are a moron. Maybe on average but no one has young players logging the king of minutes the Bobcats do. You are either dumb or twisting the facts to support your idiotic position, which is it? Because you are jackass either way.

Posted by: Free | Feb 15, 2013 4:49:08 PM

BG is right. Henderson is garbage and should not take time away from BG. We were winners with Hendo out of the lineup. Can we get rid of Hendo and start BG? Would be a much better move.

Posted by: CHILL | Feb 15, 2013 5:27:13 PM

Hahahahahaha "we were winners with henderson out of the lineup" hahahahahahahaa

Seriously dude stop watching basketball. It's clearly beyond your comprehension.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 15, 2013 5:55:13 PM

If Henderson is garbage , then what is Gordon? He's the worst ball handler in the league. He has 2 or 3 turnovers a game and turns the ball over more than anyone on the team by far. He can't play defense and gives up everything he does on the other end . He was run out of Det and Chicago and is on his way out here ASAP. So if Henderson is garbage , then he's much less. And teams don't want him. .. At any price bc if he ain't on , he sucks unable to do anything else. Learn some ball.

Posted by: Iron man | Feb 15, 2013 6:38:08 PM

Go Charlotte Hornets !!!!!! Lets get the name back. Screw Ben Gordon, Dunlap will get better as will the team. I believe in Cho!!!

Posted by: Timmy's | Feb 15, 2013 7:26:39 PM

Anybody whose memory span goes farther than three months back can remember that, before this season started, most fans' expectations from the Bobcats for this season were higher than the mess we're seeing now: again, "another day, another blow-out", again, bottom of the league.

No, this season was NOT expected to be a winning one. No, this roster is certainly not playoffs caliber.
But, this was expected to be a competitive team. A losing record of .300 to .330 was a reasonable, realistic (and still low) expectation for this perennial NBA lottery client.

Why ? Because of the management moves - the good draft picks and the veterans signed (and please, spare me another round of bashing them: we'd be much worse without Sessions, and Gordon and Haywood are underachieving in this team.
I'm talking at this point about early expectations - NOT about the product we can see now on the floor).

Also, young players grow from one season to another, and improvement was expected from ALL of our young ones.
For the hard core fans of the youth movement: the improvement of these young players was an important part of the expectation for a better, much more competitive team, than last season.

What we have instead is a .230 record, and a team that underachieves, even as related to those rather low expectations.

Dunlap's job has to be assessed against the young players' improvement.
Only Kemba shows a serious improvement in all aspects of his game - and about this, I'm really happy.
Then, Mullens shows some -but still, unsatisfactory - improvement. He's a better rebounder and a little better defender this season. I'm not sure that he'll ever become a really good defensive player. But, he has the potential to be a much more serious inside threat in offense. Instead, he's still defaulting to too many jump shots (3s and mid range), he's still not attacking in the paint as his potential allows.
This is why his development is unsatisfactory so far; it is on him, for sure, but even more, it's on the coaching staff.

And how is Hendo doing, our best player in the awful last season? He's taking steps backwards, directly thanks to Dunlap. It's because this coach wants to fit Hendo in his plan ("shoot 3s if you wanna play!"), instead of using him to his strengths (driving and mid range shooting). See the results: yes, Hendo improved his 3 points percentage, but he's not taking a lot of these (or else, you'd see that percentage go south a lot!), and his overall scoring declined.

Biz doesn't show any significant improvement this season, and worse, MKG is not developing the way he was expected. This one's not on Cho's pick, it's also on Dunlap.
I mean, for a 19 years old rookie, Kidd Gilchrist started this season very nicely (inconsistent, but that was expected). Then, in the last 13 games, he's taking steps backwards. Also, Jeff Taylor's development is behind what can be expected of a player of his talent.

And then, those absurd rotations. Those ever shifting line-ups, that often don't make sense, and don't settle into any patterns. This is important. Players have to know what's their role in the team, and that depends a lot on whom they are playing together with. It's about your place on the floor, and also, about developing chemistry between players. Inconsistency of line-ups, random mix-and-match of players, creates a sense of an aimless team that, in the first place, doesn't function well as a team.

Testimony to the poor team work: the Bobcats are last in the league in assists per game.
Also, the team work is, in most games, failing in defense too. That's why a team that plays lots of zone - which is supposed to seal the interior - is always badly hit by scoring in the paint (besides all those 3s allowed, which is something harder to prevent in zone).

Dunlap is failing in coaching this team, and not doing a good job at developing the young players - with the remarkable exception of Kemba.
I don't believe in firing a coach with thirty games left in this season.

But, towards next season we'll have another high lottery pick, we'll be able to improve seriously through free agency with the room we'll have under the salary cap, and I trust the management to make at least one or two good trades (maybe even before the approaching trade deadline).
The Cats have every opportunity to become a good team, yes, a playoffs contender, next season. That's not gonna happen under Dunlap. He's just not NBA head coach caliber.

Can we beg Jerry Sloan to come here next season, to work with an improved and ambitious roster ? And if that doesn't work, no more weird improvisations (such as Sam Vincent, Mike Dunlap). We'll need a solid, proven, professional (Avery Johnson really messed up with the Nets; but Sam Mitchell can be trusted, I'd say).

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 16, 2013 11:36:23 PM

I don't recall any "experts" picking this team to win 24-27 games this year.

Mkg has struggled lately....it's dunlaps fault he had the eye injury followed by the concussion coinciding with the "rookie wall"?

Mullens has improved drastically and has posted up A LOT more since coming back.

I agree about henderson (i've said the same things on that note) and biz has improved but it doesn't show much. I just don't understand the lack of patience on some of these things. He got walker going, he's getting mullens going, he's turned hendo into a 3 pt threat, in a little over half a season.

We're bailing on the guy after 52 games? 8.69 wins was last year's pace. We have 12 wins through 52. That's not improvement? And while playing the young guys most?

And i don't see the rotation issues that are being brought up. He's tweaked the lineup because of injuries only. Walker/hendo/mkg/mullens/biyombo was the lineup he penciled in when he was hired. Sans hendo it was the summer league lineup. Are we referring to sessions and gordon playing a lot late in games? He addressed that earlier this week.

We want to win the most possible games while still having the worst record this year. After this year we want to win as much as possible. We just needed another top prospect to fill this group out.

Everything is right on schedule for those paying attention to theschedule and not their fantasy world dreams. The reasons to be mad and upset were everything prior to the schedule being set when cho was hired. Everything since has been everything they said it would be. Thus far.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 17, 2013 12:56:09 AM

Did I say "experts" ? I wrote about fans' expectations. (Still, the tone of most season previews written on the team was much more upbeat than that of current comments).

At the current winning percentage, Bobcats end the season at 19-63.
About fans' expectations, a poll taken by Bleacher Report before the season showed that only 33.3% (exactly one third) expected this team to win 20 or less games this season. So, if you enjoy believing that what's going on is "according to plan" ("right on schedule"!), keep believing.

And you call the expectation of a 24-27 wins season a "fantasy world dream" ?!
Man, this is hilarious.

1. You're the one whose hopes are not just for a good, winning team, but for a championship team. You're the one who wrote repeatedly that we already have most of the young talent needed to get there ("we desperately need stability"), and with one more high lottery pick all we need is patience, and within a few years of developing this talent pool, we'll be among the top Eastern teams, ready to fight for the title !! Heck no, this is living in a fantasy world full time.

We need to sign quality veteran free agents, we need some more trades, and sure, another high draft pick, and developing the keepers among our young players (not all of them !) - we need all of the above done the smart way in order to become a playoffs team that goes farther than the 1st round. How far, and how about championship high dreams ? For now, that's too far from reality to answer.

2. In their second season as an expansion franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats had 26 wins. That was no big dream come true, but it was really nice for a second year franchise.
Do you remember what roster we had at that time, and how it was patched together under tough NBA rules ? Do you remember that, as a second year expansion franchise, we were limited to 75% of the league salary cap ? Yes, but we had Bernie: modest, nothing flashy or glamorous about his style (as GM and as coach), but solid, experienced and a man of sound judgment.

We want to be a better team than what Bernie achieved for us (which included improving to 33 wins in the third season), right ? Well, that's not gonna happen with Mike Dunlap. I stand by all I've said already about his poor achievement in developing our young players this season (except for Kemba, and that's not enough), and also about the frequent inconsistencies in his substitution patterns.

In the end, it really doesn't matter how many fans think he's not up to this job, and how many still want to stick with him.
MJ wanted him. Will he change his mind ? IMO, it's only a matter of time until that will happen, and that will be best for our team.
Time will tell.

Posted by: Sandy | Feb 17, 2013 2:40:08 AM

I don't understand the merit in "fan" expectations when most "fans" are uneducated and don't watch the games.

I know i sure didn't expect 300-400% improvement over last year. We're on pace for over doubling our wins.....right about where they said they would be.

These same 5 guys WILL win if kept together. We need veterans at the end of the bench, sure. We need good leaders/mentors. And an overall talent upgrade to the remainder of the roster, but that's coming. How could anyone expect positive results when we have over 27 million tied up in diop, thomas, and gordon alone? No other franchise has wasted cap space historically the way we have. We've basically got one more year to get at full strength salary wise which is basically worse than how it was when we were playing with 75% of the cap in year 2.

It's weird for me to be criticized for my optimism yet also for not having higher expectations. I just don't see how you go from 7-59, get younger in the rotation, bring in a new coach and expect a huge jump in win total.

Now next year? Oh we should definitely win 25-30 and make the playoffs the following year.

We're going to be adding either mclemore, muhammad, zeller, or noel to this young core + probably portland's pick at 13 or 14, no 2nd rounder (awesome, this 2nd round is stacked) but we will probably be handed seth curry on a platter in free agency. He may not be his brother but for a free agent pick up you can stash in d-league or trade for a late 2nd and stash him overseas.....it's the kind of san antonio move that would pay off long term. Even if he's the 12th man on the bench, that's a big upgrade. After 4 years of growing together, that group will be everybit of indiana, memphis, golden state, etc. Not to mention the increased trade value by playing the guys. And not desperately needing the draft picks. And good cap management. Puts you in a position to pull off a james harden deal or a cater to your weaknesses a la leonard for hill swap indiana made.

We're on pace. If we come out next year getting blown out left and right, i'll be worried. But call me when that happens. I bet these young guys go even harder this summer. We not only have talent but we have gritty, high character guys. None of whom we're having discussions about playing weight and such.

Kemba will figure it out. Biz will figure it out. Mkg will develop a jumper, mullens %'s will improve and his weight will increase to where post up will be the staple of our offense.

No fantasies over here.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 17, 2013 12:42:45 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.