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Panthers, Bobcats over .500 together for first time since 2007

A thoughtful reader named Rod Petticrew emailed me Thursday morning to ask this question: When was the last time the Panthers and Bobcats had a winning record at the same time before now?

After the Bobcats edged Toronto on Wednesday night, they moved to 3-2 heading into Friday night’s home game with the New York Knicks. The Panthers are 5-3 and on a four-game winning streak.

It turned out it was six years ago, almost to the day. A quick check of both teams’ media guides reveals that on Nov. 3, 2007, the Bobcats were 1-0 and the Panthers were 4-3. The Panthers lost the next day, dropping to 4-4 on their way to a losing season, and it has never happened since.

It also happened for two days starting on Nov. 5, 2005. The Bobcats beat Boston to go to 2-1 on the season. The Panthers were in the midst of one of the four playoff seasons they have had – they were 5-2 at that time and 11-5 at the end of the regular season. (Originally, I thought 2005 was the only time it had happened, but alert reader Jonathon Wylie of Charlotte spotted the “one day in 2007” overlap after I posted something online about this.)

That 2005 party didn’t last long, either. The Bobcats lost to Utah on Nov. 7, 2005. That dropped them to 2-2, and they never climbed above .500 the rest of the year.

So exactly three days of the two biggest pro teams in Charlotte being over .500 simultaneously – in nine years! Until now. Amazing, isn’t it? Three days?! Put it this way: the 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian and the NBA’s Kris Humphries lasted 24 times longer.

The Bobcats had that one fine playoff year in 2009-10, but the Panthers were never over .500 that season. The Panthers, in fact, haven’t been over .500 in the regular season since December 2008 until now, so that cuts out a whole swath of possibilities. And we all know the Bobcats have only had one regular-season winning record in their history – they began play in 2004 after the Charlotte Hornets left town – so they’ve usually been underwater, too.

As Petticrew wrote: “I would personally appreciate if you could try to drop a reminder to the Charlotte sports public that we may be watching something special in development with both the Panthers and Bobcats. When perennial losers take their first steps into winning, it’s often overlooked.”

Well said, and consider it done. Enjoy this while it lasts, Charlotte. If history is any indication, it won’t last long.

Fowler: sfowler@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @scott_fowler
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