Charlotte needs some serious answers regarding the status of one of City Manager-Until-June Pam Syfert’s biggest deals — the Uptown arena and the Charlotte Bobcats.

News that the team has cut loose its top attorney and its vice president for public relations in order to reduce costs does not sound like standard corporate restructuring. In fact, coming on the heels of word that Bob Johnson is both asking the NBA for more revenue and trying to find a way to off-load the money-losing Sting, the dismissals suggest Bobcat management is trying to hit some end-of-year financial target.

Legal work and PR are not incidental to running an NBA franchise. Just a little over a year ago, in fact, Bobcat PR maven Scott Leightman was cited by the Uptown paper of record as a behind-the-scenes “mover and shaker” in Charlotte. Now Leightman is out on the street.

Something very odd is going on in Bobcat land.

Update: And now we know what at least part of it is: Bob Johnson has handed the Sting back to David Stern and WNBA and said, “Here, you take this turkey.” The WNBA is trying to find a buyer for the team.

This no doubt explains the reports of a move to Kansas City that no one in KC knew anything about. Stern and company are trying to move the franchise anywhere with an arena that needs events and has some local money to put up.

The really interesting thing is that no NBA owner short of Mark Cuban has so directly tweaked Stern the way Bob Johnson manifestly has with this move. First he tells Stern to re-do league’s local TV revenue structure to share the wealth among small market teams, then Johnson up and drops a money-losing WNBA franchise to underscore just how serious he is about getting his head above water in Charlotte.

This is getting interesting, people.