Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zeller pick gets booed by fans at Bobcat draft party

Since I am officially on vacation for the next week or so, I didn’t officially cover the NBA draft. But I did help increase the Charlotte Bobcats’ crowd by almost one percent at their free draft-day party, taking two of my sons (ages 15 and 12) and three of their teenaged friends to the main concourse at Time Warner Cable Arena.

There we watched the first few picks of the draft with probably 600-800 other fans. And the reaction from those diehards after the pick of Cody Zeller? Well, let’s just say they were underwhelmed.

No, let’s say more than that. Let’s describe it, because it was quite a scene.

As the No.4 pick approached, the crowd mostly wanted Kansas guard Ben McLemore or Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel. So when Zeller was announced by NBA commissioner David Stern, the immediate reaction from the Bobcat fans was a stunned “OOOOOHHHH” of disbelief, followed by a lot of booing, followed by at least one chant of “Bull----, Bull----.” I recorded it and just listened to it again on my iPhone, and the amount of vitriol was really amazing. It sounded almost like when NBA commissioner David Stern walked out to give the first few picks and the New York crowd booed him heatedly.

And the Zeller pick made a couple of people happy, too.

Was I one of the happy people? Well, no. As I wrote in the newspaper Thursday, I wanted the Bobcats to take Zeller’s teammate, Victor Oladipo. Unfortunately, he went at No.2. But I also wrote that Noel was the right choice if he were still there at No.4, and he was, and they didn’t take him.

Maybe we’re all very wrong. Maybe Zeller was a great choice and the Bobcats’ braintrust – particularly general manager Rich Cho, who seems out on a limb on this one -- will be proven right.

But the Bobcats certainly didn’t win the public-relations war Thursday night. Although the party itself was a nice and well-organized event, many of those fans filed out shortly after the Zeller pick, grumbling to themselves.

24 comments:

Terry Belew said...

The Bobcats would have chosen Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan.

Ghoul said...

There were a few great players in this draft. There were several good players in this draft. There was one average player in this draft and Charlotte zeroed in on him?


What a dud! The season tickets phones are collecting dust. Again.

Anonymous said...

Noel was tempting, but if he's having knee problems at 210 pounds, how are those knees going to hold up to the 250 pounds at a minimum that he's going to need to have to bang around with NBA bigs?

NASTAR99 said...

Just hilarious!

Been telling you people...

...never gets better until His Minimumness sells!

Don't look now but Nets owner has run up an $80 million luxury tax bill and could care less!

Meanwhile Minimum, Yes Co & Cho won't even get rid of Tyrus.

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Sandy said...

Scott, I'll quote here my favorite part of your article: "Maybe we’re all very wrong. Maybe Zeller was a great choice...". Yes, indeed.

This pick is not about "public relations", it's about doing the best possible for improving this team.
As for P.R., they'll come along, they are just a function of the number of wins - which will hopefully be on the rise in the upcoming season.

P said...

Until Higgins is fired to start with, the mediocrity will continue. Cho is acting like a yes man to both him and MJ, and Cho knows more about scouting talent than both of them combined. Pathetic.

Marion Ratliff said...

I'm a fan just like the people who
criticize the pick. Fact is nobody
knows how this will turn out. All I
know that for the most part while at
Indiana Zeller showed athleticism
and good scoring ability. For
crying out loud give the guy a
chance. Marion Ratliff

Anonymous said...

How do we know that Len an Noel will not turn out to be like Bowie. This was a boring pick in a pretty bad draft but he may well become a good forward. I had little interest in the draft field. Next year with three possible loto picks is where they have a chance to make an impact.

Anonymous said...

This pick makes the most sense based on our current roster. Bismack is undersized at the Center but too clumsy to play Power Forward. Zeller is 7 foot and can play PF, and can do the down low grinding that Mully could never pick up. He has the offensive fundamentals that Bismack lacks. They should work very well together.

Anonymous said...

You know they'd go with Melvin Turpin. If I was there I would've booed too, as unpredictable as the draft was, CLT could have moved back and still picked Zeller or an equivalent player. Seems like they had tunnel vision during this draft.

Merritt said...

I trust Cho. Let's give Cody a chance. Go Bobnets!

Anonymous said...

MJ strikes again. He can't evaluate talent. He can't hire the right people to evaluate talent. They had no plan B when Bennett got taken number 1 and they were basically locked in on a Power Forward.

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys get it? We botched this draft on purpose so that we can get Andrew Wiggins next year! Great job Horncats!

Anonymous said...

racism alive and well in charlotte

Anonymous said...

this is Idiotic! 1> The Bobcats stated goal was to get bigger and shoot better. The only one that even demonstrated he could shoot at all was Zeller. 2> There were only four players taken in the lottery that would help the Bobcats get bigger and shoot better. One was taken two were injured with SERIOUS injuries and the other has two brothers who are already over achievers in the NBA, giving him a head start with the transition to the NBA and no family history of injury. As for the other two, one couldn't make it past the half way point in his freshman college year without serious injury, and the other had a very worrisome stress fracture and he's only 20 years old. To me, those are red flags. The Bobcats need help now, not four months from now when maybe Lynn heals, or 6 months while Noel heels and another 6 months while they put on weight. Zeller was the only choice the Bobcats has left who fit their stated goals. Writers can serve up Pie in the Sky from now on and it won't make a single basket. Zeller will! Great job Bobcats.

Tyler said...

Those who say we botched the draft and are going to tank next year so we can draft wiggins clearly don't understand how the lottery works. Wiggins WILL be the number 1 pick next year regardless.. but we had an excellent chance at #1 this year and the best out of anyone last year. the ping pong balls didn't play out because everyone knows the NBA draft lottery is rigged. The best shot we have at a number #1 is next year when the NBA knows the Hornets are rebranding and need a franchise player.. Hopefully they will award us with that #1 pick, but nothing is guaranteed even if we don't win 1 game this season.

Anonymous said...

perfect fit for the team given its current structure. the bobs already have enough offensive projects

charlottean said...

somebody name 1 thing........just 1 thing.......that alex len does better than cody zeller.

noel has a bit more potential upside, but he has WAY MORE potential downside. I wanted noel, but zeller was my 2nd pick and I'm completely satisfied with their decision. I think its great.

You're talking about a guy that if he had come out last year after a stellar freshmen year, you all would have wanted him. he stays......has another stellar year and you all don't want him.


flavor of the week.

name 1 guy that has the resume zeller has that didn't make a great pro. there aren't a lot of guys that set records at the combine AND dominate college basketball, as a sophomore, and aren't absolute elite nba players.


charlotte easily has some of the most ignorant sports fans. they hate delhomme. they hate henderson. they hate hurney. they hop on and off the bandwagons. care more about uniforms and mascots than the actual game.

and think brook lopez is worth a max contract but cody zeller isn't worth the number 4 pick overall.

cody zeller defecates all over brook lopez as a basketball player.

Anonymous said...

A couple or so years ago, Scott, you were recommending Adam Morrison. How did that work out?

Anonymous said...

I think the people criticizing this pick have not been watching college basketball the last couple of years.

Len is hurt and only averaged 11 pts and 7 rbs for a bad Maryland team. Noel is hurt and skinny as a toothpick. He has only played 24 games in a very weak SEC. Ev en during those games he played good but not great. McLemore could barely get eligible to play at Kansas (is he really mature enough to handle the NBA?)

Zeller is healthy, big, athletic, and has done more on the basketball court than any of the players people wanted picked ahead of him. Just wait and see he will play well in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

Cody will bring a work ethic that is unbelievable. He will be determined to show the people that it was the right choice to make him number 4.
When he runs the floor or comes out and defends out front and steals the ball and go inf for a dunk, the people that show their displeasure during the draft will need to stay seated.
No forget that, they will join the bandwagon and tell everybody what a great choice it was for "their team".

Anonymous said...

Here's a question? Who averaged the most points out of the top five picks (including Bennett)? Out of the players 6'9 and above, who has the greatest leaping ability? Who has the most NBA-ready body out of those players? All valid questions. All with the same answer...Cody Zeller! Men and women lie...numbers don't!

Anonymous said...

zeller never did anything in college. IU had two lottery picks and never made it out of the sweet 16 (first time in history). hell, zeller never even won a big ten tourny. he's just not a winner. good luck with that pick. ouch

Marconi Polonius said...

To June 28 at 4:54 PM.......sounds like you want to watch Zeller drop a deuce all over Lopez....