Top 5 All-Time Charlotte Bobcats
A week ago, we looked at the top Boston Celtics of all time, and I had a hard time narrowing it to just ten guys. This week, we’re looking at the top Charlotte Bobcats of all time, and putting together a list of ten in this case was barely even possible. The top five itself is admittedly a little underwhelming, but what can you do with a team that’s only been around for seven seasons? That’s nowhere near enough time to put together any Hall-of-Fame careers, so yes, this list is nowhere near as attractive as the Boston one. But we’re going to do it anyway, because “Charlotte” is next in the alphabet.
That being the case, here we go…
#5 – Brevin Knight – Let’s put it this way: Knight stopped playing for the Bobcats in 2007, and still only one player in the history of the team (See #3 on this list) has more total assists in a Charlotte uniform than he does. He’s also still third in total steals and ninth in total points and, unbelievably, ninth in total rebounds. The team selected him along with the #1 guy on this in the original 2004 expansion draft, so he’ll always have a special place in the hearts of Bobcats fans. The way things are going, he might always have a special place in the franchise leaders for major statistics, as well.
#4 – Matt Carroll – To think that Matt Carroll is in the top five of anything is pretty crazy, but numbers don’t lie; as far as Bobcats are concerned, Carroll is fourth in total points, seventh in total rebounds, and fifth in total steals. He’s also got the second longest-tenure ever with the team and is currently the longest-employed Bobcat at 5 ½ years with the team. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2008-2009 season but apparently couldn’t stay away and was traded back to the team in 2010. Now he’s in great shape to keep racking up stats and—get this—in two seasons he might have played more games than any other Bobcat in history.
#3 – Ray Felton – Charlotte may have decided that Felton wasn’t as cost-effective a point guard as D.J. Augustin moving forward, but Felton’s contributions to the team have been, so far, among the best ever for the franchise. He’s the all-time team leader for assists, field goals made, and three-point field goals made, second in total points and steals, third in total rebounds, and seventh in total blocks. When he was drafted in 2005 along with UNC teammate Sean May, the idea was that the two serve as cornerstones to the organization. Felton held up his end of the deal, but ended up pricing himself out of a long-term career there. Go figure.
#2 – Emeka Okafor – Dwight Howard wasn’t the Rookie of the Year in 2005, believe it or not. Emeka Okafor was. In fact, he’s the only Rookie of the Year the franchise has ever had, despite having had so many high lottery picks over the years. That doesn’t say a lot for the way the Bobcats have drafted, but at the time it seemed to mean really good things for Okafor’s career as a Bobcat. Despite having played only 330 games in Charlotte and having left the team two full seasons ago, he still is the all-time franchise leader in rebounds and blocks. He’s also third all-time in scoring, fourth in steals, and ninth in assists. He’s never been an All-Star and probably never will, but he’s good enough to be the second-best Bobcat ever.
#1 – Gerald Wallace – The Bobcats have only ever had one All-Star and one member of an All-Defensive team. Both those players are Gerald Wallace, and when you look at the franchise’s statistical leaders, Wallace is at the top of most of them. No Bobcat has ever scored more points, played more games, gotten more steals, or made more field goals or free throws than this guy. He’s also second in rebounds, second in blocks, third in assists, and fourth in three-pointers made. I’d say that’s the best this franchise has had to offer to date, which makes his trade to Portland last season all the more painful.
Jason Richardson – Had Richardson played the bulk of his professional career in North Carolina, or even five or six seasons, he’d probably be at the top of this particular list. Instead, he only played one single season for the Bobcats and still ranks eighth in total points and steals for the franchise, as well as tenth in total assists and blocks. In one season, J-Rich did enough to make honorable mention here, which is a little ridiculous but true all the same.
Stephen Jackson – A lot like Richardson, Jackson did a whole lot in not much time with the team. In just a shade under two seasons with the Bobcats, Jackson managed to tally up enough assists and steals to rank himself sixth all-time in both categories. He’s also currently ranked seventh in total points and tenth in total rebounds, and had he played out the rest of his contract there instead of getting traded to Milwaukee this past summer, he would’ve climbed in those and other categories pretty quickly.
Boris Diaw – A narrow miss for the top five, Diaw is currently sixth in total points and rebounds and fourth in total assists and blocks. Considering that outside of Matt Carroll and D.J. Augustin, he’s the only player mentioned here still currently with the team, he’ll climb the ranks pretty quickly. Were we doing this list 2-3 years from now, he’d almost certainly be in.
Primoz Brezec – It’s easy to forget that a guy like Brezec even played in the NBA, but despite that he remains fifth in franchise history for total points, fourth in total rebounds, and sixth in total blocks. And he did all that in only three seasons with the club.
D.J. Augustin – Augustin is already the all-time franchise leader for free-throw percentage and is fifth in total assists and tenth in total steals. He’s still a young guy, which means with more time he could continue to improve his rating on the list of all-time Bobcats, but only if Kemba Walker doesn’t make it unnecessary to re-sign Augustin when his rookie deal expires. Knowing the history of the club, though, that’s probably exactly what will happen.
I told you it wasn’t a pretty list, but it’s a complete list and it is accurate. If you don’t believe me go pull up the stats for some of your favorite Bobcats. Look at the all-time roster. Try to pick out ten guys more deserving than these. You can’t because it’s simply not possible.
But if we’re going to do an all-time roster for all thirty teams, we’ve got to include the Bobcats. After “Charlotte” in the list of alphabetical NBA city names is “Chicago,” which means we’ll get back to the all-time rosters of more storied franchises in just seven days. I think we all know who #1 on that list will be, but numbers 2-5 will help keep things interesting.
Until then, these are the best Charlotte Bobcats of all time. Enjoy them, because they might not stay that way for long.