IN THE ZONE
David Betancourt | 3/3/2010, 12:44 p.m.
Jordan Buys Bobcats, But Why?
If you're looking for high praise for Michael Jordan purchasing the Charlotte Bobcats, you won€t find it in this column.
Shouldn€t I be congratulating a new Black owner in the NBA? Well, Bob Johnson, the guy Jordan bought the team from, already broke down that barrier when he was awarded the Bobcats a few years back. And the NBA has always done a great job of having diversity when it comes to their executive office. Call me when the NFL has a Black owner, hopefully by the year 2080.
I recognize that Jordan is one of, if not THE, greatest basketball players of all time. The impact he had on the game while playing for the Chicago Bulls will go down as one of the greatest contributions to the game of basketball since they decided to cut the bottom out of the peach baskets they used to use for hoops back in the day.
Jordan did a lot for basketball, more than should be asked of one man, and in return he should be allowed to be a part of the game in his post-playing days. But to me this is nothing more than one more thing to feed one of the sports world€s all time egos. Or did you not take a listen to that horrible Hall of Fame acceptance speech Jordan gave?
Did Jordan buy the Bobcats because he thinks he can turn them into a legit franchise in the NBA? Or did he buy them just so he can say he bought a team?
And in looking at Jordan€s basketball resume as a basketball executive, what really stands out that says that Jordan will have the Bobcats up at the top with the Lakers and Cavs now that he is in essence, in charge of everything?
This is the man who drafted Kwame Brown with the number one pick in the draft over Pau Gasol. The same guy who after a year of playing with Rip Hamilton, figured it would be a good idea to trade him for Jerry Stackhouse. Then Bob Johnson brought him on board in Charlotte and Jordan thanked Johnson by drafting Adam Morrisson, who didn€t exactly turn out to be the next Larry Bird.
To Jordan€s credit, the Bobcats have been playing pretty well this year, aided by the coaching skills of Larry Brown, who admits that it€s only because of Jordan that he came on board to coach the team.
When you look at the decisions Jordan has made as an executive, one could say that the best thing he could do for the Bobcats is stay out of the way and surround himself with smart basketball people. Whether that will happen, time will tell, but getting Brown in as the coach was a good start.
Jordan€s playing career is unmatched. He has nothing to prove in regards to what he did on the court during his playing days. His career as an executive, well, in that regard he still has a lot to prove and so far he€s done nothing to impress. So now, he€s putting all his marbles in the Bobcats basket. There are no longer ownership issues to deal with because now Jordan is the ownership. And whatever happens to the Bobcats from here on out, Jordan will get all the due credit, or due blame.