Jeff Foxworthy here. Now I’m about to tell a few funnies about a basketball team up the coast from me in North Carolina. Settle in and enjoy the funnies, folks.
When the best news of your offseason is that you’re changing the name of your team back to the Hornets, to recall the “glory years” of Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Kendall Gill (best finish ever: 2nd round of playoffs [editor/Charlotte native's note - way to rub it in Pete!]), you might be a crappy NBA franchise.
When the two dudes competing for your starting power forward slot – rookie Cody Zeller and free agent signee Josh McRoberts – couldn’t take Danny Schayes and Tim McCormick in a game of two-on-two, you might be a crappy NBA franchise.
And so it goes for the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan’s perennially woeful and frustrating pet project. It’s almost identical to his foray into baseball – he absolutely stinks as an owner and captain of a franchise.
But we here in Fantasy Basketball Land couldn’t give a Cat’s ass about stuff like attendance, standings or fans’ feelings (except for our own J.B. Gilpin, who loves him some hometown Bobcats and can’t wait until they become the Hornets once more).
We want numbers, and we want to know which players will emerge from the heap of stinking hot garbage to provide us with said numbers.
If the stats you seek are boards and blocks, the man you seek in Charlotte is Bismack Biyombo.
“But Pete Nice,” you say, “didn’t the Bobcats just sign Al Jefferson to be their starting center?” Yes, Fantasy Basketball Friend, but while I love Big Al, he’s more injury-prone than Matt Foley.
“Well, OK, but you just said that two big stiffs would be duking it out for the power forward slot. Where will Bismack play?” Well, at some point coach Steve Clifford will come to his senses and follow J.B.’s suggestion that Bismack is too undersized to play center, and that he would be perfect to start at the 4 alongside Jefferson.
Even if neither of these things happen, Bismack will get his minutes, and henceforth he will get his boards and his blocks.
Let’s remember, too, that this is a guy who predicted one year that he would lead the league in rebounds and blocks (he didn’t, but I dig the moxie).
We’re also talking about a guy with an impressive collection of nicknames. “La Pantera.” “The Business.” “Master.” “Big Smack.” Would you mess with the Congolese Pantera? I thought not.
And neither will most opponents down in the paint. That is, if Clifford gives him the kind of minutes he got in Brooklyn on April 6, when he pulled down 10 boards, blocked 5 shots and popped in 10 points in 33 minutes. Or on April 13 at home, when he had 17 boards, 2 blocks and 13 points in 36 minutes.
I say if you’re in a deeper league, take a chance on him toward the later rounds over a piece of dung starter and pseudo-stash him on your bench. If he flops you can find someone better than Dan Gadzuric or one of the other bad names on flashy teams that everyone else drafts in those spots.
Bismack is a lock for 2 bpg, and at least 8 rpg. He could average double-digits in boards if he gets close to 30 minutes a game.
And if he does, somewhere Earl Cureton will be smiling.