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September 30, 2013

In some fantasy land, we're all Gana Diop

            Former Charlotte Bobcats center Gana Diop is getting a training-camp tryout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Intellectually that makes perfect sense. It doesn’t cost them a cent, and with Andrew Bynum’s health an open question, why not investigate someone that big and that strong and that….

            OK, I’ll say it….disinterested.

    I like Gana a lot – as a person, not a player. When the Charlotte Bobcats foolishly traded for him, I called someone who knew Gana’s game intimately. I asked if this could possibly be a good use of resources. Here’s what I heard: “Nicest person in the NBA, but has nothing left.”

            That was years ago. It was laughably accurate.

            Every time Gana would get another chance, as in every time the Bobcats made a coaching change (which isn’t so uncommon, you know?), I’d walk over to him for an obligatory chat. I would constantly hear the following: “I know I can still play when I’m in shape.”

            I’m sure that is absolutely true, and would have had some merit had Diop ever taken steps to be in shape. You know how many times I watched him off in a corner, doing some agility drill with some frustrated assistant coach? The problem – and this says far more about guaranteed contracts than Diop’s reaction to them – is NBA front offices (Dallas, New Jersey, Charlotte, in this case) kept enabling this incredibly lucrative Ponzi scheme.

            Diop’s NBA value became a sink hole, a write-off, a punch line. Meanwhile, a nice guy who escaped from African poverty made tens of millions.

            If I were Diop I would have made more of an effort to justify all that money, if only out of pride. But the far greater silliness was teams making huge bets that somehow Diop would stop being that guy.

Posted by Observer Sports on September 30, 2013 at 10:29 PM | Permalink


Diop was another piece of Larry Browns legacy. I believe the last, Thankfully.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 1, 2013 6:40:11 AM

He used to come into the bank branch I worked at. Nicest guy on the planet. He gave me 2 tickets one game. We sat next to his brother who is also a very very nice man. Glad we aren't paying him anymore but he was a better human than tyrus Thomas who parked horizontally across handicap spots when he came in

Posted by: Spaceman mike | Oct 1, 2013 8:27:55 AM

Tall Guys have tall cars?lol.

Posted by: nucat | Oct 1, 2013 11:23:18 AM

Where was this article years ago when we just traded for Diop? Don't you think THAT would make for an interesting article rather than bringing him up AFTER he's gone? Pathetic sportwriters we have in the QC.

Posted by: Pdiddy | Oct 1, 2013 2:19:43 PM

Diop was tall.

Posted by: BMOC | Oct 1, 2013 4:26:53 PM

When I read this title I said to myself we better not be giving him another shot....

Posted by: TheRealJD | Oct 1, 2013 4:42:27 PM

tyrus thomas was always cool as shit anytime i've crossed him. diop too. not sure how they have such opposite reps.

2nd worst trade in team history to the dampier trade. aka part 1 of the 2 part cnbc series "fleecing rod higgins for millions and winning a championship for dirk while we're at it" directed by donnie nelson.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 1, 2013 5:45:48 PM

If the Cavs sign him, they can cut and paste this article and add Bynum's name to it this time next year.

I do find it funny how Bonnell doesn't criticize players, coaches, or FO until they are no longer with the team.

Posted by: Jeff Otah | Oct 2, 2013 5:35:20 PM

Good point Jeff.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 3, 2013 8:54:27 AM

Gana Diop was worth every penny. I put that right up there with the signing of Tyrus Thomas and the trade of Tyson Chandler for Eric Dampier as the best moves in the history if the NBA. You are welcome Charlotte!

Posted by: Rod Higgins | Oct 3, 2013 5:10:07 PM

Go Bobnets go.

Posted by: Jimbo | Oct 3, 2013 5:12:26 PM

And don't forget. I also put my son on the team 2 years ago. I know he has not played for another team since, but just because no other team in the league picked him up doesn't mean he is not any good. Or does it? I don't know. Someone help me.

Posted by: Rod Higgins | Oct 4, 2013 6:22:13 AM

if ben gordon has an expanded role like rick talked about in the article.......that spells abandonment of the rebuild.

why on earth would ben gordon even sniff the floor unless someone out of sessions/henderson/mkg/taylor get hurt. only justifiable reason would be to play him up to trade him, but there can't be much value for him as a player but only as a salary dump. he can absolutely still play. but he isn't in our long term plans.

if clifford does indeed play him more to get a few more wins this year.....that's a bad look for the long term success of the franchise and the young wing players who ARE part of the long term plans or at the very least next year's plans.

pargo, tolliver, gordon, and haywood should be planted on the bench and or in suits most of the year barring injuries.

so either clifford is giving gordon false hope or he's actually going to play him. either way it's effed up.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 4, 2013 10:20:25 AM

New coach. Let him play who he wants. Taylor will get plenty of minutes between playing the 2 and the 3.

Posted by: Mel | Oct 4, 2013 7:40:02 PM

Gordon gets minutes and that spells abandonment of the rebuild? Talk about an overreaction. Look around the league. Vets will get minutes on every "rebuilding" team. If Gordon plays well and they can get something for him, that would only help the "rebuild" Not to mention having a player like that, used appropriately to open the floor will also help the young players develop. Henderson will get as many minutes as he can handle. The only player that could lose minutes would be Taylor. Without another real option at the 3. Getting him minutes will not be a problem.

Posted by: Stephen | Oct 5, 2013 9:20:44 AM

Charlottean, change your name to pompous ass....oh wait, I just looked pompous ass up in the dictionary and there's your mug shot! Go Horncats!

Posted by: Hugo Panther | Oct 7, 2013 10:36:43 PM


henderson, taylor, and mkg should all get 25+. really 30+. either way that leaves 20 or less minutes for gordon and that's assuming sessions and walker NEVER play at the same time.

if gordon is getting an expanded role that means you're choosing a guy on a 1 year deal over a young guy that should be around a while.

if it's strictly for trade purposes........great. if it's so clifford can win a few extra games this year.......eff that.

only way we become a contender is if walker/taylor/henderson/mkg/zeller/biyombo/next year's pick become great.

we don't become contenders by gordon, jefferson, and mcroberts getting us to 37 wins this year. we start effing up development of our rebuild, we start winning 35 games for the next 10 years.

we play those young guys up......we look like indiana in a year or 2.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 8, 2013 5:36:11 PM

Is either game televised this weekend? I don't see anything so far..

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Oct 9, 2013 8:21:47 PM

the game tuesday night was on sports south. tomorrow night's game isn't listed as being on tv, but i don't think tuesday's was either.

same for saturday.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 10, 2013 9:25:26 AM

Thanks. on Directv Tuesdays was listed Channel 650 and Nba league pass.
Watched Tuesday was alot distracted so I didnt get a good feel for the game and have to get my B-ball eyes adjusted. Still adjusting to Henderon's HEAD. If anyones finds out if they are televised appreciate a heads up and ill do the same Thanks.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Oct 10, 2013 12:12:46 PM

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