The 1-on-1, exclusive question and answer session I did with Michael Jordan Friday night for Saturday's Observer can be found here. But several qu0tes from Jordan that I wanted to get in had to be cut due to limited space. You can find those below.
** On his commitment to the franchise (Jordan currently owns a minority stake in the team, would eventually like to be the majority owner and has final say in all personnel decisions. But he has been criticized for not being around often enough as he lives primarily in Chicago:
MJ: I do want people to understand I’m committed to this franchise. I’m committed to Charlotte. I’m invested. I’m putting my money up. They’re not giving me a suite [in Time Warner Cable Arena]. They’re not giving me front-row seats. I’m paying for these things.
If I’m putting my money in it, I believe in it. I’m in the trenches with them [the fans] and I have the belief that this franchise is going to turn itself around.
** On Jared Dudley, who has been starting for the Bobcats this season:
MJ: Ultimately -- I know Jared would never want to take this approach -- I’d love for Jared to be our eighth, 9th, 10th guy. But now he’s starting for us. That’s a little bit out of whack. He’s doing a lot. He’s doing a great job. Don’t get me wrong.
** On former coach Sam Vincent, whom Jordan hired and then fired after only one season:
MJ: We were trying to get an Avery Johnson type of guy. We talked to Larry (Brown). We talked to experienced coaches. And at that time they were not ready to make the move…. Obviously that’s my call and I take the hit on that. I still think Sam is going to be a good coach in the NBA.
Was that the right time? Maybe not.
** On if, at age 45, he still has the itch to play:
MJ: My passion for getting out and playing isn’t as strong as it used to be. I’m coming to grips with saying, ‘You know, my career’s over with. Don’t go out there thinking you can do this or this.’
Now I can talk a good game…. But how many times have you heard old people say they can do this or that? I’m no different.
** On whether he still believes in Adam Morrison, who he took with the No.3 overall pick of the 2006 NBA draft:
MJ: I know a bunch of people say that’s a bad pick for us. I don’t think so yet. It’s too early. Obviously Brandon Roy [the sixth pick from the 2006 draft] looks great. A lot of guys behind him look great…. I’m going to stick with Adam. He has a basketball IQ and a passion for the game. I think he’s going to provide us with something that makes us proud… Now if doesn’t happen that way, obviously we cut our ties and move forward.