So here's something I found interesting. As the country is hammering away at Rush Limbaugh (and rightly so) for calling a woman a slut, I saw during last Sunday's NBA double-header on ABC an ad for one of their new shows: GCB, which stands for Good Christian Bitches. At first I was a little surprised that a major network was actually having a show where the titular characters were advertised as "bitches," but then my surprise multiplied when I found out ABC had yet another show coming out with bitch in the title: "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23." What a weird world we live in where ABC, whose parent company Disney once employed Rush Limbaugh, can spend its time castigating a man for his misogynistic language, and then proudly promote its bitch-themed upcoming lineup, not to mention its town of cougars and housewives that are desperate. Yep, nothing inconsistent there.
Anyway, that has nothing to do with sports; it just happened to be on my mind. Let's talk about the Charlotte Bobcats, who many have been describing as one of the worst NBA teams ever. At 5-32, their record lends no doubt that they're the worst team in the league. But... historically bad?
How quickly we forget that just two years ago, we witnessed a New Jersey Nets team that was even worse. That team started off the season 0-18, had three separate double-digit losing streaks, were 3-34 through 37 games and had to win five of their final twelve games just to finish with a record of 12-70. The talent level on that team, with a rookie Brook Lopez and a then-respectable Devin Harris, while awful, was still probably better than this Bobcats monstrosity, whose best player is either D.J. Augustin or Kemba Walker. If they finished 10-56, that would give them a higher winning percentage than that Nets squad; five more wins sure sounds like a lot, but they already have two more of them than the Nets did through 37 games in 2010.
And last year's Cavaliers team was no slouching slouch either. Their record of 19-63 will certainly give them a higher winning percentage than what the Bobcats post this year, and let's not forget that Cleveland wasn't even the worst team in the league in 2011; that distinction belongs to the Timberwolves. All the same, in the wake of LeBron's absence, people will probably remember the Cavs' record-breaking 26-game losing streak more than they will the Bobcats' futility. It doesn't help too that in a lockout-shortened season, it'll be difficult to appreciate just how bad the 'Cats are without an 82-game slate to properly judge them. It's not unreasonable to ask if their record is skewed by the condensed schedule.
Of course, none of these teams even compare to the official worst team ever, the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who had four double-digit losing streaks (of 13, 14, 15 and 20 games) and an overall record of 9-73 -- the worst record in history. They magically won five of seven games at one point in February, only to lose their last 13. If not for an 85-82 win against Seattle on January 7, they would have lost 35 games in a row. In fact of their nine wins, seven were by seven points or less.
In terms of roster talent, this Bobcats team -- depleted of even its marginal talent in recent years (Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, Stephen Jackson) -- is truly abysmal. If they win only five more games, it's hard to make a case that they're even the worst team of the past three years. Nonetheless, this is a truly, truly terrible team. It remains to be seen just how many games the Bobcats will win; a double-digit win output in a condensed season will automatically disqualify them from the discussion. But if they keep this up, if they really finish around that 9-57 mark, there's a legitimate debate to be made that this team is at least in conversation, even if it's as a finalist.