A thoughtful reader named Rod Petticrew of Charlotte asked me a question this morning: When was the last time the Panthers and Bobcats had a winning record at the same time?
They both do right now, you know. After the Bobcats edged Toronto Wednesday night at home, led once again by Kemba Walker (above) and Gerald Henderson, they are 3-2 heading into Friday's home game with the New York Knicks. The Panthers are 5-3 and on a four-game winning streak, thanks in part to Cam Newton's improvement.
Good question, Rod. It turns out it was six years ago, almost to the day. A quick check of both teams' media guides reveals that on Nov.3, 2007, the Bobcats were 1-0 and the Panthers were 4-3. The Panthers lost the next day, going to 4-4 on their way to a losing season, and it has never happened since.
It also happened for two days starting on Nov.5, 2005. The Bobcats beat Boston to go to 2-1 on the season. The Panthers were in the midst of one of their playoff seasons -- 5-2 at that time and 11-5 at the end of the regular season. (Originally, I thought this was the only time it had happened, but alert reader Jonathon Wylie of Charlotte spotted the "one day in 2007" overlap.)
Alas, the above .500 party didn't last long. The Bobcats lost to Utah on Nov.7, 2005. That dropped them to 2-2, and they never climbed above .500 the rest of the year.
So exactly three days of the two biggest pro teams in Charlotte at over .500 -- in nearly 10 seasons! Until now.
The Bobcats had that one fine playoff year in 2009-2010, but the Panthers were never over .500 that season. The Panthers, in fact, haven't been over .500 in the regular season since December 2008 until now, so that cuts out a whole swatch of possibilities. And we all know the Bobcats have only had one winning record in their history, so they've usually been underwater, too.
As Petticrew wrote: "I would personally appreciate if you could try to drop a reminder to the Charlotte sports public that we may be watching something special in development with both the Panthers and Bobcats. When perennial losers take their first steps into winning, it's often overlooked."
Consider it done, Rod. Enjoy this while it lasts, Charlotte. The Bobcats and Panthers are in very rare territory right now. I think this deserves a Steve Smith TD dance (see below).