SBD/June 28, 2013/Franchises

Bobcats Fans Express Displeasure About Zeller Pick With Boos At Draft Party

Fans headed to the exits of Time Warner Cable Arena after Zeller's selection
Fans attending the Bobcats’ free NBA Draft party on Thursday night were “underwhelmed” when the team picked Indiana F Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick, according to Scott Fowler of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. As the pick approached, the crowd “mostly wanted” Kansas G Ben McLemore or Kentucky C Nerlens Noel. After Zeller was announced, 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----.” The Bobcats “certainly didn’t win the public-relations war Thursday night” (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 6/27). In Charlotte, Jacob Feldman notes “hands went on heads in disbelief, thumbs went down in disapproval, and people headed for the doors in disgust.” Fans of “all ages came to watch Thursday, wearing a near-even split of Bobcats and Hornets gear” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/28). ADVANCE PUBLICATION's Scott Branson names the Bobcats one of the “losers” of the Draft. Zeller is “certainly a great player in his own right, but he just isn't the type of player that brings a spark to a team or lights a fire under a lackadaisical fan base.” Branson: “Maybe Zeller is underrated and the Bobcats will prove their doubters wrong, but it's more likely Charlotte fumbled their draft. Again” (NJ.com, 6/28). In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen writes if the Bobcats “are right and Zeller is a name-taking, court-running, jumper-hitting and tougher-than-we-think big man, Charlotte’s decision-makers ought to have a job for life.” But if “they’re wrong, they might be looking for work in 2014” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/28).

NOT HAVING THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT: SPORTING NEWS’ Mike DeCourcy writes Bobcats fans “have no particular reason to trust the Charlotte management.” In team Owner Michael Jordan’s "time as an executive, they’ve drafted Adam Morrison, Brandan Wright, Alexis Ajinca and D.J. Augustin.” None of the those picks are still with the team. It “wasn’t Zeller that Charlotte fans were booing,” rather it was “the absence of Noel” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 6/28).
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