Thursday, May 31, 2012

I was at Icehouse in South End last evening attending a tweetup event when the NBA Draft Lottery special came on ESPN. Around 8:15 p.m., I made my way downstairs and planted myself square in front of a TV. Like many of you Charlotte Bobcats fans and Charlotteans, I had my fingers crossed that the home team would win the first pick. A female friend walked by and asked what all the frenzy was about. I said: "Imagine that the Bobcats have the opportunity to do what the Carolina Panthers were able to do last year by drafting Cam Newton number one." Her face lit up.

But sadly, it was not meant to be. As I'm sure you know by now, the New Orleans Hornets (Charlotte's former team) won the first pick in the draft and the Bobcats secured the second pick. So the Hornets will undoubtedly select the player just about everyone from serious sports analysts and critics to casual observers believes will be number one, 19-year-old Anthony Davis, a 6-10 forward from the University of Kentucky. He's the one player most believe a team can build a winning franchise around.

Fortunately I was at the bar ordering a much-needed drink during this moment of anguish, when Bobcats GM Rich Cho congratulated Hornets head coach Monty Williams.

With the second pick, there isn't a whole lot of excitement in the players the Bobcats have to choose from. The NBA drafts just aren't as strong as they used to be. There was a time when teams were almost guaranteed to draft a future all-star if they landed a top-five or sometimes even top-10 pick or beyond (in the 1996 draft, for example, Ray Allen was the fifth pick, Kobe Bryant was the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets but traded to the L.A. Lakers, and Steve Nash was the 15th pick). Many believe the Bobcats will select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an 18-year-old, 6-7 forward who was a teammate of Davis's on the national championship-winning Wildcats.

So with the unlucky bounce of a lottery ball, the Bobcats, who finished 7-59 this past season, accumulating the worst winning percentage in NBA history, have missed out on the chance to draft a future superstar for the first time in their eight-year history. "Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers," as Nelly famously rapped on "Number One" (Nelly, coincidentally, was a part of the original ownership group of the Bobcats, but that reportedly ended when Michael Jordan bought majority control in 2010).

Or, you can look at it more optimistically for the Bobcats. One doesn't have to go back too far to recall the 2007 NBA Draft, when the Portland Trail Blazers selected Greg Oden with the first pick. With the second pick, the Seattle SuperSonics, which later left Seattle and became the Oklahoma City Thunder, drafted Kevin Durant. Oden is a great young man, whom many rooted for, but he's been plagued with injuries in his five NBA seasons, only playing 82 games during that whole time, which is the amount of games in a single NBA season. Meanwhile, Durant has become one of the best players in the league, the NBA scoring champion the last three seasons, and currently leading his team in the Western Conference Finals.

I certainly don't wish that Davis becomes the next Oden. Not at all. But it would be great if Kidd-Gilchrist, or whoever the Bobcats pick, becomes the next Durant. They need it desperately. And the Bobcats do, after all, have as their general manager for the past year, Rich Cho, who was the assistant general manager for the Sonics/Thunder for many years, helping orchestrate the deals, trades, and picks that are credited with putting together a Thunder team full of young, talented players who are poised to be dominant for most of this decade.

The second pick is the highest the Bobcats have ever received in the draft. In 2006, they won the third pick, shortly after Jordan had become the top executive under then-team-owner Bob Johnson. Jordan and his braintrust picked Adam Morrison, considered one of the worst draft moves in recent memory, and a decision that still haunts them until this day. Last year, I wrote an article for Charlotte magazine, where I interviewed ESPN analyst Jay Bilas and we broke down the history of the Bobcats' first-round draft picks.

This became the cover photo on the Bobcats' Facebook page last night.

The team wants to put the dark days behind them. And Rod Higgins, Bobcats president of basketball operations, wasted no time by emailing this letter to fans last night, about 30 minutes after the NBA Draft Lottery had concluded. See below.
May 30, 2012

Dear Jarvis,

As you may have heard by now, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver announced tonight at the NBA Draft Lottery that the Bobcats will have the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. We are extremely excited about having the opportunity to add a quality player to our growing young nucleus.

I'd also like to say thank you to our General Manager Rich Cho and Vice Chairman Curtis Polk, who were our team's representatives in New York tonight.

Our basketball operations staff has already begun preparing for what we consider to be one of the most important offseasons in our team's history, and tonight's announcement makes this summer all the more significant. Our scouting staff has been hard at work to identify the best possible players for us to add to our team, not only through the draft but also through other avenues such as free agency and trades, as we proceed with molding this franchise into one that our fans can be proud of and that can compete at the top levels of the NBA.

We know that many people will be watching as we work toward the NBA Draft on June 28. We hope you will enjoy this exciting time with us.

On behalf of the entire Bobcats organization, thank you for your continued loyalty and support.


Rod Higgins
President of Basketball Operations
Charlotte Bobcats
And finally, the Bobcats have announced an unbelievable ticket offer where if you buy 2012-13 season tickets at regular price, you'll receive the 2013-14 season for free. Has this ever been offered by an NBA franchise?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and RecruitMilitary are presenting the Hiring Our Heroes veteran job fair and opportunity expo on Thursday, June 7, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway (in the ballroom of The Speedway Club, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord). This is a free event for military veterans, including personnel who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, veterans who already have civilian work experience, members of the National Guard and reserves, and their spouses.

So far, 46 exhibitors and hiring companies have signed on to participate, including Verizon Communications, Bank of America / Merrill Lynch, Kellogg, Chiquita Brands, The Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Convergys, Ettain Group, State Farm, Lash Group, Oracle, and many more. Click here for more details and to register to attend. You can also see what people are saying about RecruitMilitary, the military-to-civilian recruiting firm putting on this job fair, by visiting their Facebook page,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Throughout the NBA playoffs over the past month, I've seen this ESPN commercial several times, about an ordinary man who happens to be named Michael Jordan. The 30-second commercial shows him in several situations where people have his name in reservations or orders--restaurant host, pizza delivery guy, car service, etc.--and expect the basketball legend to show up, only to display their disappointment when it's a middle-aged white guy.

Then this week, I saw the Michael Jordan in a surprising TV commercial. The NBA Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner appears in a new commercial for Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital, where he seems to want to be a surgeon (it's actually quite humorous). It was surprising because I'd never seen Jordan in any ad campaigns for local companies before. But upon some Googling, I learned, according to Charlotte Business Journal, it's part of a recent 10-year sponsorship agreement between the Bobcats and both Presbyterian and its Winston-Salem-based parent company, Novant Health Inc., that also includes an endorsement deal with Jordan. Reportedly, the Bobcats have a new sponsorship program called Level 23 that charges companies a premium to tie their Bobcats sponsorships to Jordan specifically. Charlotte advertising and public relations agency Luquire George Andrews created the Jordan-Presbyterian campaign.

Jordan is said to own 80 percent of the NBA franchise after buying controlling interest from Bob Johnson in 2010, so with the Bobcats' financial losses continuing to mount, it makes sense (and cents) for MJ to add his star power to the team's brand, something he'd been reluctant to do while he was a minority owner under Johnson.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Discussing Charlotte's Image on '282'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/22/2012 No comments
On this week's episode of 282, the weekly TV show in which I serve as a sidekick to host Carlton Hargro and am a producer for, we discussed some great topics that address Charlotte's image--what the city is known for and how good of a job it does branding itself.

The lead off topic was NASCAR's impact in Charlotte, a timely discussion since we're in the middle of race weeks throughout the Charlotte area, Food Lion Speed Street is in Uptown this Thursday through Saturday, the Coca-Cola 600 is Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame turned two years old this month. Not only did we talk about those events and venues, but we also discussed them in the context of how much a part of Charlotte's image is NASCAR. Does a city known for its white-collar professions finally embrace a sport who some still view as a redneck pastime? The motorsports industry has an annual $4 billion economic impact in the Charlotte area, by the way, with more than 80 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams based here and most of the drivers and team owners have million-dollar homes here.

We also discussed local advertising agency BooneOakley's recent appearance on The Pitch on AMC, as well as the Charlotte Video Project, an effort to create 100 short videos that tell the city's story. Those topics helped us further discuss Charlotte's image and the intricacies of branding as a whole.

We were joined by a great panel of guests: Brittney Cason, Charlotte radio personality and entertainment columnist; David Oakley, co-founder and creative director of BooneOakley; and Scott Lazes, co-founder of Bread & Butter Pictures and editor of the Charlotte Video Project.

Follow 282 on Twitter @282tv and become a fan on Facebook at Also, be sure to tune into our season finale, Monday, May 28, 6:30 p.m. (repeats at 11 p.m.) on WTVI channel 42 (channel 5 Time Warner Cable). We taped a special episode on location at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, a popular, local comic book store.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

'Deliverance' at The Cowfish

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/20/2012 No comments
I ate lunch today at The Cowfish (4310 Sharon Road, The weather was perfect for dining on the patio, and at 2 p.m. there was a 15-30 minute wait to get a table inside or outside. This sushi-burger-bar continues to be a hotspot a year and a half after opening in The Village at SouthPark.

I just wanted to quickly share here this photo of what I ordered. It's called "The Deliverance Roll – Southern Style Bar-B-Q-shi," and is one of about 10 "Burgushi" items on the menu, which are The Cowfish's fusion of burgers and sushi. I'm not much of a sushi fan, so it was the other ingredients for this intriguing delicacy that piqued my interest, as listed on the menu: tender pulled pork, tangy barbecue sauce, and tempura onion strings rolled with seaweed and rice, tempura battered and flash fried to golden brown; each piece topped with homemade bacon coleslaw.

It tasted awesome!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Millions of people will tune into the premiere of The Bachelorette at 9:30 p.m. tonight on ABC to see 25 single men begin the ritual of competing for the heart of Emily Maynard of Charlotte. The hour-and-a-half long premiere follows Dancing With the Stars, which should bring in high ratings for The Bachelorette, now in its eighth season. I've never seen more than a few minutes of the show, but I have my DVR set to record the series, which will play out over the summer, because the city of Charlotte is getting a lot of face time.

A scene showing Emily being courted on season eight of The Bachelorette. Credit: ABC 

As you probably know by now, the producers agreed to bring a large portion of production of The Bachelorette to Charlotte to accommodate Emily's life as a single mother. It's the first time the series has ventured outside of its traditional home base of filming from a mansion in California. Instead they filmed from a large house in south Charlotte. Viewers can expect to see Emily and some of her suitors as they go on dates throughout Uptown, such as at NC Music Factory, and other parts of the city. They will also travel around the country for dates, as is customary for the series.

Below are some news links you can read to glean insight into the show:

Why 'Bachelorette' Emily Maynard came back: 'Dating's hard. Why not?'The Charlotte Observer

New 'Bachelorette' season will be 'drastically different'USA Today

The Bachelorette: Meet Emily Maynard's 25 Sexy SuitorsUS Magazine

'The Bachelorette' starts tonight -- will you be ready?Entertainment Weekly

Visit to keep up with The Bachelorette over the next 10 weeks.
After a rather public courtship by several cities last year, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. announced at the end of November that it would relocate its corporate headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte. The company's CEO and other executives were immediately greeted with great fanfare. Some critics, however, questioned whether the city, county, and state gave away too much in financial incentives--$24 million worth, comprised of tax credits and grants--to land the international fresh food distributor most known for its bananas. But supporters lauded the deal for the 400 jobs that were promised to be brought here.

At the time of the announcement last fall, CEO Fernando Aguirre said he expected about 200 of those jobs to be filled in Charlotte, believing that the other approximately 200 would be Cincinnati employees who accepted relocation packages. Even for the Charlotteans not hired, that's about 200 workers and their families relocating here, buying homes, paying taxes, and contributing to the local economy in other ways.

As Chiquita prepares its move to the NASCAR Plaza office tower in Uptown, it currently has about 60 jobs posted for positions in Charlotte, based on a search I did this morning. Those open jobs are in several departments, including marketing, customer service, financial planning, food safety, project engineering, business development, transportation, and more. You can find out more about jobs at Chiquita by visiting

Chiquita employs more than 21,000 people worldwide, with operations in nearly 70 countries. It isn't all fruitful for the company, though. Last week, Chiquita released its first quarter earnings for 2012, reporting a significant loss.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Cam Newton!

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/11/2012 No comments
Cam Newton turned 23 years old today. It has to feel awesome to be that young, that rich, and that successful with such a bright future ahead.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback said and did all the right things his first year in the NFL and in Charlotte. I'm not sure if he's celebrating his birthday here or in his hometown of Atlanta, but I would think he would want to spend time breaking in the condo at The Trust he recently purchased in Uptown.

Cupcrazed Cakery in Fort Mill made these cupcakes in honor of Cam's birthday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

If you read my blogs or other writings that have to deal with politics, elections, and/or voting, you might realize that I don't ever try to tell you what side of the issue you should be on, or who or what you should vote for. My only objective is that you are informed. Voting is a constitutional right that we're all fortunate to have in this country--something that wasn't always the case. But you shouldn't simply be motivated to show up at the polls; you should be inspired to read up on the issues before you go.

The North Carolina primary is tomorrow (Tuesday, May 8). President Barack Obama is the incumbent president on the Democratic side; Mitt Romney is the presumptive presidential nominee on the Republican side, with his main opponents having dropped out of the race. So many of you who only get drawn to the polls for presidential elections, might be tuning out Tuesday's event. That would be a big mistake. If you're a Mecklenburg County resident, a visit to will give you plenty of info on what you should know, including this list of Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and statewide candidates in your district who are on tomorrow's ballot.

I've received several candidates' campaign mailers over the last couple of weeks.

Do you know who you're voting for in the races for North Carolina Senate or House of Representatives? Or for Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners? Remember, this is a primary so you can't vote straight-party ticket--you're voting to decide which candidates are going to represent your party in the November general elections.

And then there's North Carolina Senate Bill 514, better known as Amendment One, which I'm sure you've heard of. This piece of legislation, on the May 8 ballot, is a proposed bill to amend the North Carolina Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, which would, in effect, ban same-sex marriage. That issue has garnered nationwide media coverage for the state over the last few months, especially over the last couple of weeks, as North Carolina becomes the latest state to put it to a vote.

On the April 30 episode of 282, we dedicated the majority of the show to discussing Amendment One and the May 8 primary. We featured a great panel who talked about all of the ramifications of the bill. One guest, a black female, opposes Amendment One, saying it would do unnecessary harm to families, including unmarried heterosexual couples with children as well as senior citizens. Another guest, a university professor, is also against Amendment One and he discussed it from an academic and civil rights standpoint. And then our third guest, a white male gay conservative, is in favor of Amendment One, saying that he believes marriage is between one man, one woman, and God. Yes, he's gay, and he said he's in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples like himself and his partner, but not marriage.

Do yourself a favor and watch this episode of 282.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Charlotte's platinum-selling R&B and soul singer Anthony Hamilton is featured tonight (May 6) on the newest episode of As Written on Centric. The series is described as: "Through candid interviews, live performances, and behind the scenes footage, As Written unlocks the door to the creative process and exposes the inspiration behind the work of some of your favorite R&B and soul artists." On tonight's episode, premiering at 11 p.m., we're taken inside all of those things of Anthony's musical career that has spawned several hits over the last decade.

Watch a preview of the episode in the video below.

Other artists previously featured on As Written include Robin Thicke, Jill Scott, Eric Benet, Musiq Soulchild, and Chrisette Michelle. Centric is a subsidiary cable channel of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and can be found on channel 458 on Time Warner Cable, 330 on DirecTV, and 515 on AT&T U-verse (which is what I have).

You may have also seen Anthony in the May issue of Esquire magazine, where he participated in the Third Annual Esquire Songwriting Challenge. The photo below, by Danny Clinch, is one of several from that shoot.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Read About It: The Growth of Local MMA

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 5/04/2012 No comments
The popularity of mixed martial arts, simply known as MMA, has exploded over the years. UFC fights are more anticipated than heavyweight boxing matches these days (who's the current heavyweight boxing champion anyway?). MMA has really taken off in the Charlotte area, and I was surprised to learn of its growth particularly in the Lake Norman area. You can read about it in the story I wrote, "Tough Enough," for the May issue of Lake Norman Magazine.

I talked to trainers and fighters at The Rock MMA & Fitness Center in Huntersville, the Gracie Jiu Jitsu LKN Academy in Mooresville, and Crossface MMA in Cornelius. And, as you might know, Team R.O.C. in Harrisburg, just north of UNC Charlotte's campus, has produced two UFC fighters, Rodney "Sho Nuff" Wallace and Jordan Rinaldi. But the growth of MMA locally is being spurred largely by people who want to learn the techniques to stay physically fit; not to get kicked and punched in the face.

Rock at the Dock 5
You can watch MMA fighters up close at Rock at the Dock 5, taking place Saturday, May 12 at Queens Landing (1459 River Hwy., Mooresville). It's the fifth installment of the popular fight series put on by Matt Sredzinski, owner of The Rock MMA. About 2,000 fans are expected, and in addition to live cage fights, there'll be music by bands and DJs, food and cash bars, strong man demonstrations, babes in bikinis, and more. Visit for details.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Charlotte Startup Weekend is this weekend, May 4-6, and it's where you'll find techies, from software and hardware developers and designers to marketers, managers, graphic artists, and people who just love seeing ideas come together, huddled up over the course of 54 hours. Startup Weekend was founded in 2007 by a techie named Andrew Hyde in Boulder, Colorado; two years later it became a not-for-profit organization and relocated to Seattle. It's grown tremendously since its inception, now held in more than 120 cities, funded by the Kauffman Foundation in addition to support by companies like Google and Microsoft. This is Charlotte's fourth Startup Weekend, and participants say it's gotten bigger and better each year.

A team at work during last year's Charlotte Startup Weekend.

Led by local organizers and sponsors, Charlotte Startup Weekend is taking place again at Packard Place in Uptown, which is a hub for entrepreneurs and startups itself. The weekend kicks off with dinner and networking Friday at 5:30 p.m., and later that evening the pitches will start. Teams will form that night, and Saturday morning at 8 a.m. they'll get to work on their ideas. Sunday night, the teams will make their presentations. According to national organizers, about 80 percent of participants continue working with their team or startup after the weekend has ended, and 36 percent of them are still working together after three months..

Early bird registration has ended, but even now at the regular price of $99, the all-inclusive ticket is still a great deal. It covers seven meals, snacks, beers, and a T-shirt. For complete details, visit

May is National Inventors Month
This is like a month filled with ingenuity and innovation. In recognition of National Inventors Month, Edison Nation, a Charlotte-based idea-to-shelf product development company, is leading a Twitter campaign by promoting the hashtags #IfICouldInvent and #InventorsMonth throughout May. And they're giving you the chance to win prizes. If you tweet "#IfICouldInvent... " and complete that statement with your own thought (for example: #IfICouldInvent a time machine I would go back to my sophomore year in college and ask that girl for her phone number), you could be among the tweets they select for prize giveaways. Follow @EdisonNation.
Related Posts with Thumbnails