Charlotte’s sports emotions seem to be running high after last night’s NBA draft. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was either a love-him or hate-him pick. Let’s be honest, though: other than Anthony Davis, there wasn’t a clear-cut number two.
Many were happy with the MKG pick, me included. He is a guy that plays 90 mph the whole time. He plays defense, drives the basket, rebounds, and will swarm the ball. MKG has a no-quit attitude and a desire to win that the Bobcats lacked last year, and he is a piece of the puzzle that has been missing from this team since, quite frankly, Gerald Wallace left. If you were a fan of Wallace and his intensity, which if I recall many of you were, you will love Kidd-Gilchrist. Does he have his downside? Sure, he is not a shooter, and many felt that was something the Bobcats lacked. But to be quite honest, though, if you looked at the check sheet on what the Bobcats need there are a lot of things.
A lot of people had their eye on Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, and even Harrison Barnes. Each of these guys had upside and downside to them had they been drafted last night. The Barnes people would have been mad about the Beal pick, the Robinson people mad we took Barnes, the Beal people upset with Kidd-Gilchrist, it goes on and on. The fact of the matter is anybody we picked other than Anthony Davis would have been controversial one way or the other. Rich Cho and the Bobcats couldn’t possibly have pleased all the fans, and really they shouldn’t. Cho’s job isn’t to make every fan in the stands happy, his job is to put together a team that wins.
Now do I think that the Bobcats with the addition of MKG are going to be a power house in the East? Certainly not. Do I think that they can make the playoffs next year? No. Will they improve upon last year? Yes. (How could they not?) Are pieces being put in place for the future that will build the franchise in years to come? Absolutely.
The e-mails and phone lines have been slammed with people criticizing the pick and ripping up the franchise. Like I said, there was no right answer in this draft. We have to think that Cho has a long term plan and that he is going to build this franchise piece by piece. In fact, what exactly are fans’ expectations out of Kidd-Gilchrist? The guy is not going to come in here and singlehandedly turn around the franchise, but neither was Thomas Robinson, or Bradley Beal, or Harrison Barnes, or anyone else in the draft for that matter. Anyone who honestly thinks that is out of their mind. Even if we had the number one pick and had gotten Anthony Davis, did people think that he was going to come in here and make the Bobcats on par with Heat? Hell no. Yes, Davis is a franchise player who would have been great here in Charlotte, don’t get me wrong, but he was not going to get us to the playoffs next year, nor will he get the Hornets there. The Bobcats have a long way to go to be good. Any player we got at this point merely would have been a piece to a puzzle. Davis is a much bigger piece than Kidd-Gilchrist, but he can’t do it all by himself (see John Wall).
A reporter yesterday asked MKG if he could do for the Bobcats what Cam Newton did for the Panthers. First off, I think that is an unfair comparison that shouldn’t even be made. Nobody believes or thinks that he is the Cam of the NBA. When Cam was drafted people didn’t even think Cam was going to be the Cam that he was last year. Secondly, I liked his answer, “I’m a winner. I don’t see why not.” This guy is driven and wants to be successful. Michael Kidd Gill-Christ, welcome to Charlotte. I’m glad you’re here.
As always feel free to send me your thoughts, praise and hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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