The Bobcats got fed up with Kareem Rush this weekend and kicked him to the curb with less than nine games remaining in the season. Additional salt in the wound came when Bernie Bickerstaff told the media that Rush was waived because, “the Bobcats are about two things: hard work and maximum effort. With that in mind, we think that it is best to go in a different direction with Kareem.”
That’s cold, man.
Why would Charlotte feel the need to kick the guy while he’s down? Getting cut would have hurt enough but those comments are nothing short of a kick to the junk. The Bobcats are a young franchise that is struggling to get wins and now they are going to get a reputation with players as a place that doesn’t treat it’s own well.
Bickerstaff tried to backtrack later with the media by Charlotte Observer writer Rick Bonnell that he and Rush, “had a conversation, and it ended abruptly. The young man has an abundance of talent, and I hope he realizes that.”
Rick Bonnell wrote about Rush today in a column for the Observer and had nothing but positive things to say about Rush at the begining of his article. Near the beginning of his article he wrote that, “three times in the past six weeks, I asked Rush what he thought of his future here. He was playing under a one-year contract, worth $3 million, with a team option beyond this season. Each time Rush would respond with a detached shrug, and say he anticipated employment somewhere in the NBA next season, however it worked out. I’m convinced that trait — detachment — doomed Rush here. Rush is a nice guy — there’s nothing malicious or mean-spirited in his personality — but he left you thinking basketball was his job, not his passion.”
Later on in his article Bonnell seemed to switch gears and wrote about Rush getting numerous chances with the franchise. Bonnell wrote, “Rush isn’t a crash-into-walls kind of guy. But he had skills — the ability to create and make a jump shot with the 24-second clock dying — that the Bobcats severely lacked when Bickerstaff acquired him last season. Bickerstaff cut a player of some use (Eddie House) to make room for Rush and sent two second-round picks to the Los Angeles Lakers to complete the transaction. From then on, Rush was the closest thing the Bobcats had to a golden child. Miss shots? He still played. Hurt a lot? He still played. Poor shape entering training camp? He still played.”
While Rush may have played the game with a lack of passion this isn’t a reason to cut someone with less than nine games left in a season. If anything, the Bobcats should have known about his personality and playing abilties after he played 34 games for them last season.
Cutting Rush with nine games left in the season was a blatantly malicious move by Bickerstaff that doesn’t sit well with me.