The Bobcats…. ohhh the Bobcats. Everyone in Charlotte must be thanking their lucky stars that they are no longer represented by the name ‘Bobcats’. That portion of the current franchise’s history is full of dreadful memories. With a .106 winning percentage, the 2011-12 Bobcats rank as the worst team the NBA has ever put on hardwood. They were an embarrassment, an abomination, a joke, whatever you want to call them. The Bobcats were fun while they lasted. The only thing that was worse than their record were those uniforms.
The Bobcats were just a culmination of ragtag players who did the impossible, but not in a good way. They are still living on in the memories of basketball fans around the world. Gone but not forgotten. There are so many great bloopers of that record-setting season. The Bobcats seemed more like a reality TV show than a basketball team competing in the best league in the world.
All of this leaves me with just one question. Who in the world lost to the Bobcats? Well, the Bobcats actually won the first game of the season, and ironically enough, one of the teams that they beat was the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats would later become the Charlotte Hornets when the New Orleans Hornets became the New Orleans Pelicans. Simple enough….right?
Anyway, let’s revisit the worst team in history and see there this bunch ended up.
16. DeSagana Diop
Diop was one of the least important players to this legendary team. He played in a whopping 27 games all season and averaged 1 point per game when he played. It would be crazy to see where the Bobcats would have been without him. He probably helped them lose just a few more games. All joking aside, he had a decently long NBA career despite averaging a mere 2 points per game over the course of his career. The 2011-12 season was his second to last, probably because he was 30 years old and no teams were interested in him. I guess after all of the losing, he decided to hang it up.
Diop retired in 2013, but he continued on with basketball as he became the assistant coach for the Texas Legends, an NBA D-League team. He works mostly in player development, because that’s what the D-League is all about. The Legends are affiliated with the Mavericks which is a fitting home for Diop. He signed a six-year deal with the Mavericks during his career and he had his best seasons with them.
15. Jamario Moon
Jamario Moon, much like DeSagana Diop, really had little to no impact. He was hardly even a part of the team. He played only eight games for the Bobcats in 2012 so he can’t be the one blamed for the Bobcats’ failure. Over his career he never was much of an impact player, but he will be remembered for a couple of highlight plays. There is a viral video on Youtube which shows him grabbing a rebound way over the heads of the opposing team, and he was known for his high-flying dunking ability.
Moon has played for too many teams to count since 2001, NBA or not. He is still constantly on the move but he is currently with Indios de Mayagüez, a Puerto Rican team. By now, he should probably give up hopes of making an NBA comeback. He hasn’t played since this 2012 season with the Bobcats and he was 31 at the time. He tweeted last year that he had interest in an NBA comeback and playing for the Cavs, but I guess the feeling wasn’t mutual.
14. Eduardo Najera
Najera spent two season with the Bobcats and in both of which, he played in less than half of the games. Najera was another Bobcat who failed to make an impact, in fact the team was full of those players and that’s how they got to be so incredibly bad. Najera was a power forward who has a lifetime average of 5 points and 4 rebounds. In his career 619 career NBA games, he almost always came off of the bench. He start only 85 games in his career, just a few more than that of a normal NBA season.
On a more recent note, Najera has been keeping up with the game. He now works as a scout for the Dallas Mavericks but has joined his teammate, Diop in coaching the Texas Legends for a short time not too long ago. Many of the Bobcat players didn’t lose their love for the game even after a season such as this one.
13. Matt Carroll
Matt Carroll averaged 11 minutes per game in the 53 games he played throughout the season. He didn’t make the most of his minutes however. He only was able to score 2.7 ppg during his time out on the floor. Carroll wasn’t all bad like some of his teammates. He actually had a serviceable career. He played eight seasons with Charlotte, his best being in 2006-07 when he averaged 12 points per game. After the 2008 season however, he fell apart. A big part of that problem was his three point shooting. In 2009, his three point percentage dropped to nearly half of what it was the season before.
In 2013, Carroll retired and he became an ambassador for the Charlotte Hornets. He doesn’t have one specific job, but he is more of a utility guy. He will announce games when he is asked to, he also serves many communications roles that need to be filled. Carroll has stayed with Charlotte through thick and thin and that says a lot about him.
12. Cory Higgins
Cory Higgins averaged the least amount of minutes of anyone on the Bobcats. Despite that, he averaged more points than four of his Bobcats teammates. Higgins scored four points per game but failed to accumulate any meaningful stats in any other category which is probably why he failed to stay on the court for any good amount of time. At the end of Higgins’ career, he had only played in 44 NBA games. He was done with the NBA but not basketball.
After his NBA career, Higgins played for the Erie BayHawks, Triumph Lyubertsy, Royal Halı Gaziantep, and CSKA Moscow, who he plays for currently.
Cory is the son of former NBA player Rod Higgins, and a little known fact about him, is that he is Michael Jordan’s godson. That must be pretty awesome to be able to say, “Michael Jordan is my godfather” and actually mean it.
11. Bismack Biyombo
When Bismack Biyombo was playing for the Bobcats in 2012, it was his rookie season. He looked to be a clumsy, uncoordinated big man that would never make a contribution in the league, but he proved that he could actually be a very good center in the NBA. He had more than his fair share of bloopers with the Bobcats, but he is slowly gaining a reputation in the NBA.
Biyombo is still in the NBA today. After the 2011-12 season with the Bobcats, he stayed in Charlotte for three more years. After that, he signed with the Raptors where he started to show promise. He had a solid regular season, but broke out in the playoffs. In a game against the Cavs, Biyombo broke a Raptors record by grabbing 26 rebounds. This offseason he was on the move again and signed with the Orlando Magic.
10. Tyrus Thomas
Tyrus Thomas was once a highly-touted prospect coming out of LSU. He was hardly recruited coming out of high school, but decided to go to LSU without a scholarship, and left being the 4th pick in the NBA Draft. Once Thomas got to the NBA, he didn’t find the same success that he found at the collegiate level. Thomas had some alright seasons, his best scoring 10 ppg, but he never lived up to the hype.
Thomas has settled down quite a bit, but is still playing ball. He is playing for Eisbaren Bremerhaven in Germany, and has really enjoyed himself. He has taken up photography as a hobby, and he finds joy in the simple pleasures in life. He has really matured since his time in the NBA, and he says he wouldn’t mind an NBA comeback if the opportunity arose. After his career is over he says he wants to be an athlete consultant. Thomas seems to be happier now than when he was in the NBA.
9. D.J. White
D.J. White was a role player for the Bobcats back in 2011-12. He clocked in 19 minutes per game in the 58 games he participated in during the lockout shortened season. He scored almost 7 points per game and oddly enough, this was one of his best seasons in the NBA. Too bad it didn’t help the Bobcats all that much. He didn’t have a long NBA career, maybe he was scarred from the season and could never recover.
Today, White isn’t even 30 yet. If he were still in the NBA he would be in his prime. But, instead of playing in the NBA, he is playing Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A for the Auxilium CUS Torino. His most recent NBA attempt was during the 2015 summer league where he represented the Cavaliers, but he failed to get a contract for the regular season. It’s doubtful he’ll ever get another NBA contract.
8. Boris Diaw
Boris Diaw went from being a big load on the worst team in the league to a key role player for a championship team. This is example Z of why Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA. He really knows how to get the most out of his players. Diaw wasn’t at his best during the 2011-12 season with the Cats, and that’s most likely why he got waived mid-way through the season. It was statistically one of his worst seasons.
Now on the Spurs, he is an important role player who can do mostly everything. He is a good passer like the typical Spur is, he can score efficiently, and he can hit the boards and pull down a few rebounds a game. He is nothing special, but every team needs a player like him. He is a poor man’s Draymond Green. He’s definitely better off today.
7. Derrick Brown
Brown was only 24 years old while playing for the 2011-12 Bobcats. Despite that, and despite scoring 8 points per game, he was the only player on the team to shoot above 50% and he happens to shoot 51% for his career which is very impressive. He should have shot more. That terrible year was Brown’s last season in the NBA however. More teams should have given Brown a chance. He might not have been a bad player. Unfortunately, this terrible 2011-12 Bobcats season was his best, and last season. Surprisingly, no teams wanted him.
After the NBA, he played for Lokomotiv Kuban for three years and now he finds himself playing for Anadolu Efes. In 2014 with Lokomotiv, he scored 14 ppg, which I’m glad to see. I think if an NBA team gave him a shot, he would surprise them based on his high field goal percentage and low turnovers. He didn’t like to waste possessions and that is crucial in the NBA. Protect the rock.
6. Reggie Williams
Reggie Williams, like his teammate Derrick Brown, is only 29 today. He still had plenty of gas left in the tank, he just wasn’t performing. Williams’ best season came in his rookie season for the Warriors. He scored 15 ppg which is very impressive for a rookie and looked to be a future All Star. But as it turns out, he only played 24 games in the season which is too small of a sample size. The next season when he played more, he came back down to earth.
Today, Reggie Williams plays for Avtodor Saratov in the Russian VTB United league. His last NBA appearance was in 2015 with the Spurs. The Spurs seem to give many former Bobcats players a chance for some reason. He could possibly have an NBA comeback, but I doubt it as his scoring declined steadily every season he played in the NBA.
5. Byron Mullens
Byron Mullens was a huge target for colleges coming out of high school. He was the no.1 recruit. He chose Ohio State and after one season declared for the draft. Mullens had his best season, believe it or not, with the Bobcats. I guess when there are no stars demanding the ball, everyone gets their shots up no matter how good they are.
After the Bobcats, Mullens played for the Clippers and then the Sixers. He never amounted to much in the NBA, so he tried playing overseas, and in the D-League. Maybe, it wasn’t him that decided that the NBA wasn’t a good fit but rather the market for him. There was really no demand. So he bounced around from the D-League and overseas and now finds himself playing for Torku Konyaspor. Hopefully he’s able to find himself a nice home there, because it’s clear his home won’t be in the NBA.
4. D.J. Augustin
D.J. Augustin is the first double-digit scorer on this list, and he actually isn’t bad player. He has been a journeyman in the NBA, but is a very solid backup point guard. Throughout his career he has averaged 10 points per game and 4 assists. If he can find his niche with an organization who needs a point guard, he could blossom.
Augustin just recently joined the Orlando Magic. After playing last season with the Nuggets, the Magic saw something in him and signed him to a four-year, $29 million contract. Augustin has made an impact for many NBA teams and I could see him staying in the league for another six years or so and then call it a career. He has played with so many organizations, if I were him, I wouldn’t even unpack my bags. He will probably be off to another team within the next few years.
3. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker is the most successful product of the nightmare that was the Charlotte Bobcats. Walker was just a rookie then, struggling with his shot.
But now Walker is a veteran leading the Hornets into the playoffs deeper and deeper each year. Kemba averaged 17 points-per-game over the last few seasons and this season he finally broke the 20 ppg barrier. I would expect to see Walker in the All-Star game this year or the next.
The event was going to be in Charlotte, which would have helped his chances of getting voted in but since the NBA has decided to take it out of Charlotte due to political reasons, it hurt his chances. I have been a fan of Kemba’s since his days at UConn and hope he can become one of the elite point guards in the NBA. I have faith that he will.
It’s good to see that some of this ragtag bunch has now found success in the NBA.
2. Corey Maggette
Corey Maggette was a very good player in his 14-season career. He was a career 16 point per game scorer and helped out on the glass with 5 rebounds per game. His best season came with the Clippers in 2005 where he averaged 22 points and 6 rebounds. During the Bobcats’ horrendous season he was a veteran on his last legs. He was 32 years old which isn’t bad for the NBA, but he had seen his better days. Maggette was unfortunate to have had to play on such a bad team and have his reputation marred.
Today, Maggette isn’t playing like many of his other Bobcat teammates, but instead is an analyst for Fox Sports. Maggette has been very active outside the game serving his community during his career and after. He has done ample charity work and coached kids and taught them the game. Maggette is an example of a great role model.
1. Gerald Henderson
Finally, Gerald Henderson. He scored the most points and clocked in the most minutes on the team. The 2011-12 season was one of his best, as being on a bad team can really boost your stats and make you look better than you are. Regardless of that, Henderson is a solid three-point shooter and an above average defender. He is a veteran that is nice to have on the team. Henderson spent one season with the Blazers before leaving in free agency.
Henderson just signed with the Sixers this offseason. He will bring veteran leadership to a team who is very young and will fill a void in the backcourt and hopefully bring some three-point shooting the 76ers who desperately need it. With Ben Simmons passing the ball, he will be getting open threes, all he needs to do is knock them down. He could fit in very nicely with the Sixers. After all, he is a Philly native.
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