If Im the Charlotte Bobcats, I draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Kentucky.
Im not a proponent of male athletes with hyphenated names. Schools with hyphens tend to be feisty. But find me a hyphenated athlete in Charlotte who has excelled. The best of them was Norberto Davidds-Garrido, a former Carolina Panthers tackle. And he wasnt good. Tackles never should have hyphenated names.
Yet, I make exceptions, and Kidd-Gilchrist is one. The candidate I suspect most of you prefer, 6-10 Thomas Robinson of Kansas, will be solid. Kidd-Gilchrist could be less. But he also could be much more. I take that chance.
Another candidate is the robotic big man from Connecticut. The Huskies collect them. These players tend to become robotic, predictable and less than effective professionals.
An intriguing candidate is Florida guard Bradley Beal. Like Kidd-Gilchrist and the robotic big man, hes a freshman. Unlike Kidd-Gilchrest and the robotic big man, he does not have a hyphenated name.
As the lottery approached Wednesday night, nobody at Time Warner Cable Arena was thinking about hyphenated names.
The Bobcats held a party at the FrontCourt Lounge for sponsors, suite owners and fans who sit in the first three rows at home games. Perhaps 200 people passed through blue curtains and walked inside.
They ate appetizers, drank drinks, listened to the DJ spin records and mingled with team officials that included owner Michael Jordan, president and chief operating officer Fred Whitfield and director of basketball operations Rod Higgins.
Yes, I am nervous, Whitfield said as the lottery approached.
David Thompson, the former N.C. State and pro basketball great, was not nervous. He talked to fans who wanted to talk to him, and most did. He said he thought the Bobcats would win the No. 1 pick. I felt the same way.
Can you still dunk?
Of course, said Thompson, the legendary high flier. Im not that old.
Fans gathered at tables, and on each table was a box with plastic chips topped by three ping-pong balls. At the front of the room was a big screen, and there also were several small ones.
This was tense. To receive the first pick was to have the right to draft another Kentucky freshman, Anthony Davis, who will become a great player.
The music stopped and the broadcast of the lottery began.
One by one the picks were announced, the lower picks first.
Finally, only three teams remained, and after a television commercial that had something to do with feet, the NBA returned and the logo of the Washington Wizards was flashed.
Now there were two, the Bobcats and the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets are the team that left Charlotte and headed to Louisiana, the team that George Shinn sold last season to the NBA, the team that is about to be purchased by Tom (Bounty) Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints.
The anticipation was incredible. Two men who dont look like they would hug other guys hugged each other. New Orleans had the fourth-best odds of attaining the No. 1 pick at 13.7 percent, Charlotte the best at 25 percent.
This was the moment the course of the franchise would change.
And then it didnt.
The placard of the Bobcats was flashed. The No. 1 pick would go to the Hornets.
It was as if the power in the FrontCourt no hyphen Lounge had been shut off. I couldnt see Jordans face.
I did see a few fake smiles. But most fans didnt even try to pretend. One man got into an elevator and screamed in agony.
Theres a movement in Charlotte to take back the name Hornets, which New Orleans almost certainly will abandon. Im fine with it.
But I prefer that New Orleans keep the name and give up the player the Bobcats crave.