The image of a NBA franchise is enormous in the grand scheme of things.
For instance, the Los Angeles Clippers were known as a team in the cellar of the league for years. After signing Chris Paul last season and marketing themselves well over the past few years, the Clippers are now considered a contender in the Association. They’re also able to attract touted free agents like Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes this past off-season.
If a team is in the cellar like the Clippers used to be though, they run the risk of not being an attractive option for free agents and not being respected around the league. At this point, the team has to work intelligently and diligently to build a positive image.
The Charlotte Bobcats are one of those teams in the cellar right now. They also aren’t making many moves in the right direction regarding their image.
On Tuesday night, they made another bad publicity move for their image when Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan posed for pictures with pop star Justin Bieber who was in Charlotte for a concert at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Bobcats.
That would normally seem harmless. However, for a team that’s widely regarded around the league and media as somewhat of a joke, having the team’s owner pose for pictures with a teenage pop star only helps to further that opinion. That’s not what they want.
Most basketball fans see those pictures and laugh at them. They aren’t supposed to be funny. But because the Bobcats’ are perceived as a joke, people see Jordan doing something so trivial and desperate for positive publicity that it becomes humorous.
This is just another instance of the Bobcats hurting or not helping their image this season. They waste big games from potential superstars like Kemba Walker by blowing leads and losing games. They come up in trade rumors, but have yet to act on any of them. They take their high-profiled rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and seem to start lessening his role. The list goes on.
Jordan, the rest of Charlotte’s front office, coach Mike Dunlap and the players all have to be smarter with how they portray themselves. This obviously isn’t a playoff team this year. However, if they ever want to be a postseason threat, they can’t blow leads, waste great performances, bench stars or take silly pictures with teen pop stars.
It’s just a simple picture. But it’s indicative of a larger problem with the Bobcats. And it’s a problem that needs to be fixed.