First, some things about Gerald. I’ve never watched a player develop in the NBA the way Gerald did during his time here in Charlotte. He was here through the dark C-SET days, he was a captain for the first trip to playoffs, and appropriately he was the team’s first All-Star. Like many fans, I went from loathing his mouth piece hanging out to finding it oddly endearing. I’d hoped he would retire here and have his number retired (another first honor he deserves), but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to end that well. My favorite player on my favorite team was just traded. It’s a tough day, but my head tells me it’s the right move.
This team peaked last season. They may have gotten back to the same 8-seed this year, but they could go no further. They were treading water and getting older as they did it. Ideally, the Cats could’ve moved either Stephen Jackson or Boris Diaw if they needed to cut salary, but neither has the trade value of Gerald. Portland has long coveted Crash and finally got their man. We got two unknowns. The always dangerous tangible for the intangible. I understand people that are upset about this team making a move with an eye to the future with a potential playoff spot looming, but this day was going to come. We were going to have to start over. Instead of playing out the string for the next year or two, allowing trade assets to diminish and never receiving any compensation, fans would be equally as upset. The team has added two first round picks that could help take this team to new heights. That would be appropriate legacy for a guy that gave this team and this city everything else he had to offer.