Last week a 36-win team traded for a 32-year old Dwight Howard and drafted Malik Monk with the 11th pick in the draft. In the grand scheme of the NBA, it may not matter, but for the basketball community of Charlotte, NC, it gave fans a reason to be bold and do something they’ve done little of since the NBA came back in 2004: hope.
When I think of the average Hornets season ticketholder, I think of my father, a man who gave up the dream of seeing his childhood team of the New York Knicks win a championship in 2004 and became a full-time Charlotte Bobcats fan. He initially bought season tickets when (the then) Time Warner Cable Arena was built in 2005 and has been a season ticket holder up until last February when he finally lost faith in the team’s direction.
To him, it wasn’t worth going down there anymore to see a team on the proverbial NBA treadmill. They weren’t bad enough to get a great lottery pick, and were never good enough to win a playoff series. One of his major habits, calling me after games to discuss what the coach or some of his favorite players did wrong, had stopped. He’d just had enough of the team disappointing him on a nightly basis to the point where he’d just quit watching, and ultimately gave away (sometimes unsuccessfully) the tickets to folks who wanted to see the games. He’d even quit the habit of lurking on message boards and websites to see if the Hornets would make some moves to improve the team.