Brevin Knight has left the Bobcats, and isn't particularly happy:
"Obviously a lot that goes on in Charlotte relates to their love of the University of North Carolina," Knight said. "That affected me, Bernie and Raymond, too — there's a lot of pressure on him to be great" as an ex-Tar Heel.
Knight also talks about his willingness to take a pay cut, or to take a lesser role behind new starting point guard Raymond Felton. He makes it pretty clear he didn't want to leave Charlotte, and his family will continue to live there no matter who he's playing for.
Now, my insights into the inner workings of the Bobcats management are nonexistent. Furthermore, I didn't even know who Knight was into this article, the Bobcats not getting much media time in Southern California. And it's interesting to see how the story is evolving, from the original lede "Former Charlotte Bobcats point guard Brevin Knight says the team's decision to waive him last week was not just a money-saving move," to the blog headline "Tar Heel Clique Ran Me Outta Town." And if you look at the quoted part of the article, Knight's referral to the Tar Heel pressure is coming from local fans, not the Charlotte front office.
And yet this is what I was worried about in my original NBA draft post, that the Bobcats would begin to be percieved as a Tar Heel club, with UNC alumni taking top priority over winning. Pretty soon, you'll have free agents backing away from Charlotte, not wanting to take a job where they think the deck is stacked against them. This is why I'm glad the Brandan Wright call was Golden State's - tying the team to too many local players is going to be seen as a bias that isn't really there. Felton and May are good enough to start on an NBA team regardless of the management's alma mater, and I wouldn't want them to be belittled by a conventional wisdom that assumes otherwise.