Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron goes to Miami; Jordan lays low

Like many of you, I watched LeBron James' announcement on TV Thursday night that he was going to join the Miami Heat, where he will form Miami Thrice along with superstar buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Meanwhile, as the NBA world was knocked off its orbit by LeBron, Michael Jordan was quietly doing business in Charlotte.

It was an interesting dichotomy -- in the space of a couple of hours I saw LeBron on TV (in what I thought was a very frustrating and contrived ESPN TV special) and Michael Jordan in person, quietly doing business in Charlotte.

I write about this a lot more in my column for Friday's newspaper and online, but I was struck by the fact that Jordan was the man responsible for all the “I can’t believe it!” moments in pro basketball. But the Bobcats’ majority owner was about as far away from this big moment as you could get.

Although King James has long idolized Jordan, the Bobcats were never a factor in the LeBron sweepstakes. While LeBron was repeatedly punching Cleveland in the gut by announcing in an hour-long ESPN special that he was leaving the Cavaliers for Miami -- and I have no connections to Cleveland but still feel awful for the city -- Jordan spent his Thursday under the radar.

Jordan spoke to a group of about 100 Bobcats’ season ticket-holders at a one-day adult fantasy basketball camp Thursday night. Then he went up to his office at Time Warner Cable Arena and watched a Bobcats’ summer-league game on TV.

At the fantasy camp, Jordan was jokingly asked one question by an adult camper about whether the Bobcats might pull off a last-minute coup and sign LeBron.

“If we get LeBron, I’m surprised, you’re surprised, I’m pretty sure everybody is surprised,” Jordan said.

Jordan also promised his fantasy campers Thursday night: “There’s a lot of action going on around the league. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know we’re going to be a better basketball team than we were last year.”

Really? How so? The Bobcats didn’t have a draft pick, haven’t signed a big-time free agent and appear close to losing starting point guard Raymond Felton.

Even if the current players get better, the Bobcats will still be undermanned when they plan on avoiding a first-round playoff sweep in 2011.

“Whatever it takes, I’m going to continue to build this basketball team into something that we can all be proud of,” Jordan said last night to the campers.

Really? Then show us.

But please, when and if you do, don’t create an hour-long TV special with ESPN and talk about it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Bobcats have been mentioned in a bunch of trade discussions in the last few days. I think one of their priorities is to unload Tyson Chandler and that contract of his. Good news is that the Cats have an extra 2 mill in cap space to work with too.

panfan1 said...

I was thinking maybe Micheal Beasley would be possibly come here & now I heard it on the news.Not sure about this guy though? Tough & scores but a headcase?And he spurned my 49ers!A good fit?What do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

What do you expect him to say Scott, that they are going to take a step back and suck? Get real. They have made some bad deals that they have to get out from under so there probably wont be any real change, unless some GM is dumb enough to take Chandler and his contract off our hands, until next year. What a lame post.

Anonymous said...

Proceeds went to the Boys and Girls club. I can't knock that. Why should a player commit to a city that may not ever win a championship? Ask Patrick Ewing if he did the right thing or not. He was loyal to the Knicks and they never won.

Anonymous said...

The only thing Jordan is good at now is giving his buddies jobs. This team is teetering on the edge right now and when Brown leaves they will fall right over the cliff.

Anonymous said...

MJ is in a bind with money. The coach is at fault, he overpayed for experience. Jack, Diaw are the only decent pieces to come via-trade. Diaw has fell off, since the ball isn't in his hands a lot...Kinda bummed about Felton leaving.

Anonymous said...

Born and raised here in Charlotte, I'm proud that we have Jordan as the owner of our team. I love his demeanor and I think he makes good long term decisions. Good things will come in time.

Anonymous said...

... gee whiz, good golly miss molly, the sunshines all the time in lala land...

somebody slap that naive idiot ...

what about jordans 25 yr gambling addition plus everything else including his vegas connection with tiger woods strippers?

Did Tiger Woods Problems Begin When He Befriended Michael Jordan ...
We all know the wheels are falling off the Tiger Woods bandwagon at a record pace. The man has gone from the top of the sporting world to a punchline for a string of bad jokes...

bleacherreport.com/.../309431-did-tiger-woods-problems-begin-when-he-befriended-michael-jordan

Michael Jordan's First Retirement: Was It a Secret Suspension ...
Michael Jordan's First Retirement: Was It a Secret Suspension? ... their third championship, the NBA launched an investigation into Jordan's gambling problems ...

bleacherreport.com/articles/131997-mjs-1st-retirement-was-it-a-secret-suspension

Najee said...

Really, about the only way Charlotte is going to catapult itself to another level is by landing a can't-miss stud at the top of a loaded draft class or two, a la the Class of 2003. Whether by keeping the pick and taking a stud or using the pick to trade for a top-level player, the team is going to have a difficult time getting better in the near future.

At the very least, Chatlotte is going to have to be better experts of evaluating prospects. Making some questionably poor high draft picks (Adam Morrison, 2006; Sean May, 2005) is what is killing this team. Barring some major development in the next few years, selecting D.J. Augustin (2008) and Gerald Henderson (2009) could be back-breakers. Missing out on guys like Danny Granger (2005); Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay (2006); Brook Lopez (2008); and so far Darren Collison and Ty Lawson (2009) is the reason why Charlotte took on some bad contracts.

Other than that, Charlotte will have to come out the winner on trades where another team dumps a quality player (see Stephen Jackson). But the Bobcats can't rely on that consistently, particularly given how the team is hamstrung with its contracts for some overpaid players. Right now at least, I don't look at Charlotte as a free agency haven.

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