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The Bobcats are serious about winning an NBA Championship...

As if the Nuggets getting unceremoniously swept from the NBA Playoffs by the Lakers this week wasn't depressing enough, salt was poured into the collective wounds of Nuggets fans everywhere when the Charlotte Bobcats hired Larry Brown as their new head coach. You heard it here first: the Bobcats will be in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference next season (of course, I predicted that the Milwaukee Bucks would be the "surprise team in the East" this season, so it shows you what I know).

When the guy who drafted Kwame Brown, traded Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse and hired Leonard Hamilton and Sam Vincent gets a leg up on you (with all due respect to His Airness), you know your franchise is in trouble.

As readers of this blog well know, I've harbored fantasies of bringing Brown back to the Nuggets - the first "NBA team" he ever coached - as head coach for the 2008-09 season. But I never seriously thought he'd come back. Not only is he a good and loyal friend of George Karl's, but it was highly unlikely, if not altogether improbable, that Nuggets owner Stanley Kroenke would invest $4-$5 million a year in Brown while having to pay Karl his $3 million annual salary.

But while Coach Karl talked about the Nuggets winning "a playoff series" as a benchmark of success during his Game 4 postgame press conference (a quote ticket-paying fans should be appalled by), by hiring Brown the Bobcats showed their fans that they're serious about going for more than just a playoff series win.

Jeff Van Gundy, anyone? Anyone?!