Friday, May 22, 2009

Time for MJ to step up


OK, Michael Jordan, you have said for years you want to own a team.

Now there's one for sale in your homestate -- a team whose roster you have helped overhaul, a team that you already have a minority ownership stake in and a team that really should make the playoffs next season.

Time to step up.

Having talked to both Jordan and Bob Johnson one-on-one in the past few months about the possibility of MJ at some point becoming the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, I think there's nothing stopping this deal -- other than a few hundred million dollars and maybe some ego issues.

Johnson disclosed to me in our exclusive interview a month ago that he would be happy to sell the team to Jordan. Johnson also told me that he still owns "north of 70 percent" of the team.

As for Jordan? I asked the Bobcats that day (Wednesday April 15) if I could talk to MJ again about the ownership issue. Michael had told me in a one-on-one interview in November: "When Bob wants to step aside, I have no problem stepping in and saying, 'Hey look, I'd love to take control of this franchise.'"

Well, I'm still waiting for my next Jordan interview. The Bobcats tell me occasionally they are "working on it."

But to me, this situation is fairly clear-cut. After all, Johnson is obviously ready to sell. "I know Michael wants to own a team, and I want to assist him however I can," he told me in that interview a month ago.

Jordan needs to find some partners with deep pockets to share the risk. Then he needs to buy the majority interest in the team.

And then he needs to sink or swim -- MJ is famously competitive, and here's a chance to literally "own" another chance at competition.

The Bobcats would get a fresh start, Michael would get a team instead of just a small piece of one and Johnson could cash out. It makes too much sense, really. That's one reason why it might never happen. But it should.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothign against Bob Johnson but if Larry Bird had been awarded this NBA franchaise, like he probably should have, things would be very, very different around here by now.

Who knows, maybe he's still in interested.....

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to see local ownership... Someone with ties to the community. If it's Jordan, fine. He just needs to be at every home game. And, oh... making it to the playoffs will be nice. Bobcats are making strides and could be there next year!

Anonymous said...

Your Charlotte BobHeels! Who wants to bet they'll draft another Sean May?

Anonymous said...

Michael could not afford the team unless he has investors.

JAT said...

Scott, if MJ can round up $250m. or so, yeah. But what makes you think he can?

He'd have to hock his entire business empire to raise even half of that, then go find 5 or 10 Jordan fanatics, each of whom with $10m. or more million they don't mind losing.

Now, let me explain how this DOES work: Magic Johnson. MJ and MJ team up, THEN the star power and numbers DO work. But short of that...it'll be tough.

Anonymous said...

Michael should talk to Marcus Smith. Marcus is youn and energetic...he certainly has the money.

Anonymous said...

come on out to Seattle Bobcats. . .

Anonymous said...

Jordan could afford the team if he were still married.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Seattle would welcome them with open arms...No team will get support in CLT unless they make it to the playoffs or beyond! Just ask the Panthers!!!

Anonymous said...

Ownership does not need to be local...but it does need to be a group that will be present in the Charlotte Community. Whoever the new owners are (hopefully NOT Jordan), they need to put together a qualified staff...not just Jodan and Johnson croonies who are complete idiots and don't know anything about running a basketball team. As season ticket holders, we have watched the quality of our arena experience dimish into something short of embarrassing. Sorry, I love the game, but Johnson is not the answer, nor is Jordan. We need a group that loves the game more than love the attention they get from owning/being involved in the team.

Anonymous said...

I wish MJ well...The last time he had an opportunity to "buy in," was with Shinn and the Hornets. That time he wanted total control of Basketball and wanted to be "comped" for his share of ownership. Maybe Bob Johnson will agree to a deal like that or maybe not. If MJ wants to be an owner, put some of the"benjamins" he earned over the years on the table and we'll see?

Anonymous said...

I hope the next ownership group is not so racist in their hiring practices.

Michael said...

...and rename the team "The Jordan-aires" 'cause ANYTHING is better than "Bobcats"

Anonymous said...

"No team will get support in CLT unless they make it to the playoffs or beyond!"

That's a dumb comment. What city do you know that enjoys watching terrible teams play professional sports? Go move there

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear what Mayor RINO has to say.

Anonymous said...

We don't want MJ, Bob Johnson, Sean May, the BoobCats, CIAA, the TWC stadium, NASCAR HOF, or the knights up town.

We want our kids to go to a school that isn't in a trailer...and some better roads.

Priority Check Please. We can make this city great again, start by dethugging the heart of town of johnson and his unwanted nba team.

Anonymous said...

the only thing worse than BJ would be MJ in charge.

too many tarholes around here to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Larry Bird was not awarded the team and Bob Johnson got it?

I can't think of any big reasons why this would have occurred.

That choice seems to have doomed our beloved bobcats from the start. Shouldn't the nba pick the best person?

Anonymous said...

Been going to schools in the trailers since the late 60's.

Anonymous said...

You just THOUGHT you were ramming this team down our throats but who is choking on it now?
Of course the tax payers will get stuck with the bill while you hit the silk and slick out I am sure.
The ONLY way I would ever set foot in there is if the new owner apologized big time for the way this went down against the peoples will and paid us back with free games and cheap eats for a reasonable period.
I hope in the future they will realize people do not give you their loyalty when you hold a gun to their head! Jerks

Anonymous said...

Who are these idiots saying "come to Seattle". You already lost your team b/c of lack of fan interest and a horrible arena! At least the only reason we lost the Hornets was b/c Shinn wanted a new arena and got too greedy. Charlotte is a NBA city. If we can get an owner that's connected to the community and actually listens to the fans instead of trying to create another entertainment venture, the fans will come back around. I know I have friends that want to get behind the team and support them, but the owner has to show them he's willing to put up the $$ for big players and the team has to win. The Bobcats have yet to make the playoffs, but once they are consistently competitive, they'll start building a better fan base. People were pissed and hurt when the Hornets left, it's going to take more than what Bob Johnson was willing to do/offer. I want our Hornets name back from New Orleans!

Anonymous said...

Finally some good news! Now clear all the thugs out of their and use the area to house the homeless you helped create!

taxman said...

Cubs fans show up, and they've seen plenty of losing seasons.

Jordan is not the answer either, and even if he was, do you really think writing and article basically calling him out for not putting up $300 Million of his own is the best way of getting him to do it?

Seriously, try asking nicely ... rather than guilting someone into it.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks having the NBA back in town is a bad idea, they are ignorant. If it weren't for the Bobcats coming to town, we wouldn't have a brand new, arena to court major concerts and events. Not to mention the numerous other projects that have spawned around the arena! Even if you hate the Bobcats and don't go to any games, it's still good for the city! I don't participate in the performing arts, but I still think it's good to have a wide variety of entertainment and options.

John said...

This is what happens when a franchise is awarded because the NBA wanted another minority owner instead of going with the best deal out there!

If Bob Johnson had been white, Larry Bird's group would've gotten the nod. That's the reality, and Charlotte paid the price.

For Bob Johnson, basketball was a hobby, for Larry Bird and Mugsy Bogues, basketball was a way of life!

Anonymous said...

You can't compare 5 year old franchise to the Cubs, are you that stupid? There aren't many sport franchises that don't lose fan support if they aren't winning. The only ones that can endure are the ones with legacies! Indiana is a huge basketball state and used to draw sellouts consistantly through the 90's, but they have had about the same size crowds as the Bobcats. What's your excuse there? Winning cures everything. It's hard to get people on board with a shitty, no-where-to-be-found-in-the-community owner and a losing team.

Anonymous said...

can i buy the team?

I want to invest 300 million to lose 45 million a year for at least the next 3 years. That's sounds very intelligent.

It's great for the city!!!

Everyone on here that says that is the reason this country is going straight down. Buncha socialists.

Anonymous said...

Bob Johnson lost money on the team, not the city. The city hasn't lost money on the team! If anything the downtown businesses and bars benefited and made extra money due to the concerts, events and games the arena has brought to town. What's wrong with some of the people on here? Are you really that stupid?

Q said...

Charlotte has real bright people posting on here" Larry Bird not getting it because of race". Bob got awarded the team because he didn't have to go outside with so many investors to make the deal work like Larry would have. I could care less if it was white, black or whomever, I guess this is still a redneck way of thinking city. If you throw all the excuses out of the window maybe something could work here.

Anonymous said...

I too think we would be in a much better situation if Larry and crew had been awarded the franchise. Maybe he would still be interested, but it does seem like a no-brainer for MJ to now purchase majority ownership if he can bring some help. I'm hopeful with new ownership we can erase some of the bad feelings from past (George Shinn and Bob Johnson).

Qcdude said...

Charlotte has real bright people posting on here" Larry Bird not getting it because of race". Bob got awarded the team because he didn't have to go outside with so many investors to make the deal work like Larry would have. I could care less if it was white, black or whomever, I guess this is still a redneck way of thinking city. If you throw all the excuses out of the window maybe something could work here.

Greg said...

Somebody call Felix Sobatas!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you think race was not a big factor in Bob Johnson getting the franchise then you just don't have a clue. It was very easy to see from comments coming from the NBA that this was the case.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what will happen to the Charlotte Jumper Classic. Tragic.

Dustin said...

WHo cares who buys the team...as long is its NOT Bob Johnson...dude had no idea how to run a team he needs to stick to TV...maybe Nelly can step up...

Anonymous said...

A new owner would be great, but please, let's not go back to the Hornets way of doing things...no home games on TV, a giant preppy gathering at a coliseum in the middle of nowhere, nothing but bad 60's music on the PA. I'll take Johnson over Shinn any day, but Jordan over Johnson as well. At least Charlotte's acting like a real city now, not some back woods hick town from 15 years ago some idiots here still clamor for. Putting events down town in a walkable environment makes a world of difference.

BadGenius said...

If MJ's lack of business savy didn't sink it, his competitiveness would. Maybe BJ can structure an IPO?

Anonymous said...

what has MJ had any success at that mattered?

he's given nothing to society of any value.

boycott the thuggery that is the nba

Anonymous said...

Ya'll need to stop hating on MJ. You are just mad and jealous that you don't have half his talent nor a 1/10th of his money. I really think the money spent a the stupid NASXAR Hall of Fame should have we into the Bobcats. I hope another minority picks this team up an leave them in charlotte. All the racist, trashy, wheat people in this city need to move to another place and free all of us in charlotte from the bigotry, and racism.

Will "Dougie" Young said...

It's amazing in 2009 when we have a black president, there are still racists and all this crap going on. The NBA is a great asset for the city. What Bobcats have had problems with the law like half the panthers have had. Do we need to go through the list of Panthers that have had issues. NO, with LeBron and Kobe leading the way for the new age of NBA, this is a great thing for Charlotte to have. Especially the way we played after the trade of DUI Richardson.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster, the racism in Charlotte is mostly coming from the race that screams racism the loudest.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of redneck fascists and racists around Charlotte. MJ would make a great majority owner. I would love to change the name of the team from Bobcats to Cougars. Please no "Bob" in Cats. How about MJ, Rick Hendrick, Felix Sabates, Charles Barkley, and Tiger Woods as an ownership group?

anonymous said...

So, When the one and ONLY black owner of a pro sports franchise hires a majority of minorities its racist..Im curious, Is it racist when all the other 29 NBA teams (along with all the mlb and nfl teams) are white owned and hire majority of whites?

Anonymous said...

We don't want MJ, Bob Johnson, Sean May, the BoobCats, CIAA, the TWC stadium, NASCAR HOF, or the knights up town.


HHMM i could possibly agree with all of those except the CIAA,they bring millions of dollars into Charlotte every year.Money that the city desperately needs.CIAA has no place in this forum

Anonymous said...

Larry Bird? He wasn't getting the team, he was fronting for someone else.
How did this become a race issue? If Bob doesn't want it and Jordan does, they need to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Sweet... maybe now we can have home games during our playoff stretch.

Tyrone said...

First and far most, the reason Johnson was picked or won the right to be owner of Charlotte franchise had nothing to do with the fact that Stern wanted a black owner. True, Stern stated it would be good for the league to have a black owner but that wasn't why Johnson became owner. Larry Bird group couldn't come up with the fee which was at the time $300,000,000. They was far short and had run out of time, when Johnson shelled out the 300 easily. Now Johnson should have been more visible in the Charlotte community. He's not the first owner of a franchise that didn't reside full time in the city. There were some mistakes made like which cable affiliate the Bobcats was be seen on; and having the horse show at Times Warner Arena during the Bobcats playoff push. He's never been an owner before. I wonder how many first time owners in the league had their share of mistakes early on. Teams like the Clippers and the Bullets/Wizards have had bad ownership for the last 20 plus years and we want to come down harshly on a man whom just been an owner for 5 years? He seems to be learning some from his mistakes. Bob did do some good. Bringing the NBA back to Charlotte. Bringing in Bernie Bickerstaff whom got the franchise off to a good start. Yeah they didn't win much, but they played hard every night. Bernie picking G-Wallace whom is improving each year. Getting Mike on board. Yes Mike to has made some mistakes like choosing Morrison with the 3rd pick and hiring Sam Vincent. But he to have made good choices. Bringing in Larry Brown and acquiring Bell, Diaw, Radmonivic. This team is on the verge of their first playoffs. Let's support this team and back whomever will be the new owner. To all the Bobcats haters who wants the team to leave; this forum is for fans. Take your insults and ignorance else were.

Anonymous said...

Well , we need a team owner that lives in the city and loves the city. Bob Johnson was lame and tired. He needs to stay in DC. We don't need him.
I would love it if MJ would buy the team.
Larry Byrd would have been wonderful. Maybe we can get him back.
There's no racism involved in this situation. Bob Johnson didn't appreciate our city. He didn't spend any time here or live here.
I hope that who oever buys the team , they will be able to increase ticket sales!!
Go Bobcats!!

Anonymous said...

According to Forbes, mj is now worth $525m. So he can definitely afford this team.

Anonymous said...

There were definite race issues at play that were a factor in Bob Johnson getting the team. Whether or not race was the main issue or even a major issue is up for debate. However, it was an influencing factor in Bob Johnson getting the franchise. Had it gone to Larry Bird's group(you spell it with an "i," not a "y," by the way), people would have complained that Bob Johnson didn't get it because he was black.

I don't see MJ getting the team as a good thing. The man's an ass in person, and nothing he has done up to this point in his post playing career has shown us he's capable of being a good owner. I'd rather someone else by the majority stake in the team, and force Jordan to actually do his job and show up at Bobcat events and promote the Bobcats. If he wants to play golf, then he can be a silent partner.
Plus, I don't want the team to be called the Charlotte Jumpmen.

BobcatFan4Life said...

Jordan needs to take the team over b/c he knows basketball. The bobcats would be so inspired with this, and other players around the league would love to play for the bobcats b/c of jordan. This franchise has a chance to be something great. Maybe with jordan we wont blow another Kobe Bryant pick.

Anonymous said...

To the one that says "force mj to do his job" do you go to work for free? Because that is what you want mj to do. He is a partner not an employee.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is like the southeast version of Mobile, Al. I've lived all over the U.S., and if I were to pick out some of the most racist cities based on community issues, city gov affairs, and business affairs, this city would be number one. In terms of big city, with major league sports, Charlotte and Cincy take the cake. If I were from either town, I would ashamed to say it. I reading posts by individuals who think race is a factor in Mr. Johnson obtaining this franchise, and how major staff hirings of blacks constitutes some form of racism. How about lookng at majority staff for the rest of the NBA teams. Charlotte might as well be in S.C., with the rest of the redneck sister cities, Greenville and Columbia.

Matt said...

There is no doubt that Charlotte, as well as many cities across the US, has some racial issues that need to be fixed, but it doesn’t help anything to call “racist” every time the discussion comes up. The most important thing the people of Charlotte can do is have open discussion on the issue, so that we can have a better understanding of each others perspectives. It is only then, when we understand how our different conclusions derived and can honestly weigh the validity of these conclusions, can we begin to allow our reason to guide our principles, instead of our biases. Now I’ve lived in the South my entire life and I have no illusions about the bigotry and indignation that exists here, but not everyone that has racist thoughts is a dogmatic bigot. There are many who simply do not understand, and thus have no basis for empathy, and to call people a racist every time they present an opposing point of view on the subject, merely adds to the pain and kills the conversation of the issues. And to the person who called Charlotte the most racist city in the US: you aren’t from here, and I highly doubt your vast experience “living all over the US” qualifies you to make such a judgment on us. I get sick and tired of people from other places across the country, where they’re hardly confronted with the issue of race as much as we are, coming and telling us what terrible people we are. It’s a lot easier to deal with the issue when you’re rarely challenged by it, so either come down here and do something about it or keep your opinion from your perch upon the hill to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Let's face the facts...Bob Johnson is a great business man, but a lousy owner. I was one of those who was very excited about the Bobcats and still am, but from the very beginning, he made a concerted effort to appeal to the African-American population in Charlotte (which I have no problem with). The problem was that he failed to appeal to other ethnic groups (mainly whites and Hispanics). If you ever attended a Bobcats game, there was a definite "Urban" feel there. I am not a racist...just stating a fact. As much as I despise George Shinn, he still put a team on the court that appealed to everyone...not just a section of the population. Carolina is basketball country!!! NBA basketball has worked here and will again...with the right ownership. We need an owner that understands the area and is committed to putting a competitive team on the court night in and night out. We are close to that now. We just lack the right leadership at the top.

Anonymous said...

David Stern was more interested in his cable tv ties and his wallet more than his race. Isn't it ironic that Cable television, the very thing that made MR Johnson a billionaire caused him to lose millions from the beginning of his tenure as bobcats owner. Cset and the whole deal with Time Warner hurt the franchise monetarily and publicly. The deal with Time Warner cost him over half of the potential fan base for the first 4 years. This is still an issue due to the fact that he had to give away the naming rights to the arena just to get out of such a horrible deal. Cset was ambitous but cost him fans and i would guess that also contributed in the devaluation of the franchise. And the hip hop culture he tried to portray at games didn't help him either. If MJ buys the team he surely won't repeat those mistakes and would have a lot more success as long as he has Larry Brown around.

Anonymous said...

I've read all the comments on this discussion. I've heard some good and bad names. But I do beleive that Charlotte can come back stronger than ever with the right people in the front office. I also beleive that to sale the best product, you have to market at the highest level and be visible everywhere. Mike, Larry, Magic, and Charles are all Hall of Fame players. Maybe the best that ever played. What more would we need? Larry and MJ would be visible at all games east of the Mississippi, and Magic and Charles all games west of the Mississippi. Hire the right employees to be visible along with MJ here in Charlotte. Cater to all, black, white,asian, and hispanics. The first "Dream Team", were not these four the first to restore USA basketball back to it's rightfull place. It can happen again right here in Charlotte. Think about it!!

MichaelProcton said...

Yeah, BF4L, Jordan "knows basketball." That's why no team under him has EVER even finished close to .500. Oh, and he did a plenty good job blowing draft picks on his own. Know who was in charge of our #1 pick in '06? Jordan.