CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the calendar mercifully turned to April, every single member of the Charlotte Bobcats muttered under his breath at one point or another today an iteration of the phrase ‘Just two more goddamn weeks’ in anticipation of the end of the season.
The Bobcat players, limping toward the end of a campaign in which they have won fewer games on the year (17) than the Miami Heat have in a single winning streak (27), plan to spend the summer healing from the grind of the regular season, as well as the psychological taxation of a miserable playing experience. “Every day I get myself amped up to get paid a lot of money to play in the NBA,” said star point guard Kemba Walker. “But when they introduce us the PA announcer just mumbles like he’s embarrassed. One night he even stopped the intros to answer his phone.”
DaSagana Diop echoed his teammates’ disillusionment. Although the center from Dakar makes over $7 million dollars a year and is seldom used, he is looking forward to escaping the Sisyphean struggle of participating in contest after contest, overmatched, out-coached, and out-classed. “It’s like being trapped in a loop of meaninglessness” said Diop, “and I can’t wait to get back to Senegal.”
“I never thought I’d hear myself say that” he added.
Noted sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman says the feeling of despair is not uncommon amongst professional athletes on terrible teams. “Sure we look at them and say that those guys are living the dream. But they’ve worked all their life to get to the top of their profession, and now they get their asses handed to them every night in contests that no one – not the several fans, the media, or even opponents – can bring themselves to care about very much. When does the dream turn into a nightmare?” Other esteem-destroying aspects of the Bobcats season, Dorfman notes, have been cheerleaders wearing paper bags on their heads, the pack of stray dogs that live in the Time Warner Cable Arena, and the banner the organization raised to the rafters to ‘honor’ last years’ squad which posted the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, widely viewed as the greatest basketball player of all time, said that the team’s mission—to chew up and spit out the most promising of NBA talent in an attempt to protect his legacy—is “proceeding wonderfully.” Charlotte is favored to have the first pick in next year’s NBA draft.