Garrett Wease’s letter to Mr. Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,

 

I am a 16 year native of this great state of North Carolina, born and raised to be proud of my heritage. Obviously, being that young, I dont remember much about the glory days of our very own Charlotte Hornets. However, I have some recollection of a very special night in my childhood. A night spent at the old Charlotte Coliseum on Tyvola. The Hive was alive in 1998, your final year in a Chicago Bulls uniform. The Bulls were visiting the Queen City for a short playoff series against the Hornets, which they took 4 – 1. My father brought me to see you play. Being a family of Tar Heel fans, your legacy was already cemented upon his mind during the 1982 NCAA championship. He knew that you were the greatest of all time. With the rumors swirling about your impending retirement, he took me to see his hero, in hopes (now fulfilled) that you would also become mine. But I digress: Mr. Jordan, I was not at the only win. But I can still hear the roar of the crowd and feel the atmosphere of that night. The buzz building in the arena became almost too much. The sheer joy of being at an NBA game. The noise meter going nuts. This was Charlotte basketball in the 1990s. The crowd was in full support of the home team, and I brought home a Charlotte Hornets stuffed mini basketball, a possession I still cherish and treasure. Then came the bad times. Even having been to only a handful of Hornets games in my life, I felt hurt and betrayed when our beloved bees skipped town and headed down to NOLA. I didnt consider myself a die-hard fan, but when the Hornets were gone, I realized how big a hole their absence left. Luckily, with the Panthers sudden run for the Super Bowl crown and some competitive teams on the football field, those problems were forgotten… temporarily. In 2004, Bob Johnson introduced Charlotte to his ego-based team, the Bobcats. Again, my family are big UNC fans, so I tried, really tried, to give the Cats a chance. After attending the home opener, I recall having Bobcats fever. When they drafted my two favorite Tar Heel players, Shawn May and Raymond Felton, with shiny new NCAA championship rings from the 05 season on their fingers, I was enamored. I became engrossed in following the Bobcats, but eventually, May got hurt and ceased to exist, except for the chair(s) he took up on the bench, and Felton was traded out. I grew less and less interested in the Bobcats and eventually settled on my new team: the Chicago Bulls. Why, you may ask. Simple: Michael Jordan. Derrick Rose is a bright face and fresh talent in the NBA, but if thats all that drew me there, I could have chosen the Heat with their Big 3. But, no, the draw of history and my favorite athlete of all time brought me to support the Chicago Bulls, something I still do. I still pull for the Bobcats. But its difficult to do so when the team has nothing that connects me to it. I grew up all but worshipping you, Mr. Jordan, and some of my fondest memories involve playing basketball on a Nerf hoop in my dads office room and imitating your famous tongue-out play. Thats what connects me to the Bulls. But I have a much deeper connection to the Hornets. The teal and purple course through my veins every bit as much as Carolina Blue does. In the past year, it would be hard to pinpoint how much Ive spent on Hornets merchandise, but its definitely much more than Id ever spent on the Cats. My Hornets collection ranges from your pair of Aquatone 8.0 basketball shoes, to the Summit Lake Hornets shoes that just recently released. I own numerous hats and shirts depicting the Hugo of old. The extent of my Bobcats collection is a free adjustable hat that was a game giveaway, a home Raymond Felton jersey (also a giveaway sponsored by the Presbyterian Hospital), and an orange, signed Felton jersey. Therefore, 2/3 of my 3 Bobcats items didnt require a sacrifice of money on my part. Is that really how sales should be? I know you once told Jerry Reindsorf that if he couldnt make a profit, he should sell the team. Im not suggesting you sell the team–Im convinced youre much better than what we would wind up with–Im suggesting you find a way to make profit. Its simple, really: Bring Back The Buzz. The We Beelive/Bring Back The Buzz/Charlotte Hornets 2.0 movement is simple. Were all Charlotte basketball fans. Some could even be considered Bobcats fans. But the only way to truly capitalize on the team and to draw unheard of crowds into TWC Arena is this: Bring Back The Buzz. Charlotte Hornets merchandise rules the day, Mr. Jordan. Even Cam Newton and Fabolous rocked Hornets gear with you in the room this past year. Assuming the draft goes well, theres really only one thing left to bring your reconstruction program to the point of its fruitition: Bring Back The Buzz. Return the Hornets to where they belong, in Charlotte. Its a simple request. Please dont hurt your reputation and shut out 83% of your fanbases wishes. You are North Carolinas favorite son. Why not

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