Triple Double: The incredible futility of the Charlotte Bobcats


Story by Chris Reinoos, Copy Editor

This just in: the Charlotte Bobcats are really bad. Very soon, they could be historically bad.

The Bobcats enter play Monday with an unbelievable 7-57 record. 7-57! If the team fails to win any of its last three games, they will set a record for worst winning percentage in the history of the NBA. The record currently belongs to the 1972-1973 Philadelphia 76ers, who went 9-73 for a winning percentage of .110.

After visiting the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, the team will finish the season with a home game against the New York Knicks. If you’re feeling optimistic about the Bobcats’ chances to win a game, here are some facts you could point toward:

  • The Bobcats have actually defeated both the Magic and the Knicks this year;
  • Without Dwight Howard, the Magic have looked lost.

But let’s be real: it will be a miracle if the Bobcats manage to win either of their last two games. This team is so fatally flawed, it’s hard to even know where to begin when discussing the roster.

The team’s leading scorer, forward Corey Maggette, has missed 31 games this year while shooting just 37 percent from the field when he does play.

Guards Kemba Walker and DJ Augustin have also shot less than 40 percent from the field while logging heavy minutes. Gerald Henderson, a fine enough swingman, is this team’s best player. No wonder they sit at 7-57.

Perhaps the worst thing about their season (this coming from a Milwaukee Bucks fan) is that the Bobcats won on opening night against the Bucks 96-95.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies, among other playoff teams, all lost their first game.

The Bobcats are on a 20-game losing streak, tied for the sixth-longest in the history of the league. They have not won since beating the Toronto Raptors March 17, or the first day of spring break at UW-Eau Claire. It’s almost impossible to be as bad as the Bobcats have been.

The NBA’s compressed schedule this season seemed likely to prevent these kinds of things from happening. It stood to reason that after playing back-to-back games or four games in a week that veteran teams would have a sluggish game, allowing a team like the Bobcats to steal a victory.

The Bobcats are young, if nothing else, as Maggette is the only player older than 30 to play any kind of significant minutes. But still, they’ve managed just the seven victories.

For whatever reason, the story of the Bobcats season has not gotten much play in the media. When I compare it to the infamous 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16 in the NFL, I can’t help but think that 7-57 in the NBA is far worse.

There are fewer upsets in the NFL then there are in the NBA. The Bobcats should have been able to win 10-12 games just by stepping on the court 66 times.

It seems safe to assume the Bobcats’ coach Paul Silas will be fired after the season. I don’t see how he can escape from this disaster with his job. But Silas has been a good coach for many years and won’t be greatly affected by this season.

Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan, however, seems to be at the end of his rope. He has said that unless the team is much more competitive in the next few years, he will look to sell his stake in the team.

This is certainly another blow to Jordan’s post-career reputation, which was first tarnished by drafting Kwame Brown No. 1 overall in the 2001 draft while in charge of the Washington Wizards. As great a player as Jordan was, it just doesn’t seem as though he can be a quality front-office man.

Ultimately, the season will get lost in the annals of time. The 76ers are a perfect example of how quickly a struggling team can turn it around. In fact, just four seasons after their 9-73 debacle, the 76ers appeared in the NBA Finals, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers.

But that doesn’t make this season any less shocking. These are professional basketball players with incredible ability and large amounts of pride. Any way you look at it, 7-57 just doesn’t add up.