CHARLOTTE, NC When Tyrus Thomas dove for a loose ball heading out of bounds near the baseline in the second quarter Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards, it was clear the collective mindset of the Charlotte Bobcats was to execute at maximum effort.
Thomas saved the ball to a teammate, and about 12 seconds later Ramon Sessions converted a driving layup. It was one of many effort plays the Bobcats made in a 92-76 victory over the fledgling Wizards and was an indication the 'Cats were dialed in.
First-year Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap is not only fighting the residue of that horrid season hanging over the franchise, but he's also battling human nature. He understands that always giving effort isn't easy for anyone, including high-paid athletes.
If a franchise that knows the sound, smell and taste of the bottom, it has no choice but to adopt a new persona, eventually manipulating it into a full-fledged culture. That process is under way in Charlotte, and it begins...