Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MJ Tuesday: ESPN and Kwame

Today's "Scott Says" blog concentrates on Charlotte's most famous semi-citizen, Michael Jordan, the Charlotte Bobcats' majority owner and the subject of an absorbing sports documentary that airs on ESPN starting tonight at 8 (here's the rest of the schedule if you can't watch it then).

I reviewed the documentary in this column. The documentary is all about Jordan's one year as a minor-league baseball player and puts that year into perspective very well (despite the fact that Jordan wouldn't sit down with filmmaker Ron Shelton of "Bull Durham" fame for an on-camera interview).

One of the most interesting parts to me was the fact that the infamous "Sports Illustrated" cover story entitled "Bag It, Michael" -- written by Steve Wulf -- had an unknown subtext.

Wulf tried to write an "I take it back" article for SI several months later after seeing a vastly improved Jordan playing Double-A ball in Birmingham, but the magazine wouldn't publish it. Shelton, in fact, told me in our phone interview Friday that the resulting dispute helped lead to Wulf leaving the magazine, although this is not mentioned in the documentary. There's no doubt, however, that it led to a grudge Jordan has held against Sports Illustrated ever since.

OK, onto Kwame Brown. Jordan's most famous drafting mistake (topping even Adam Morrison), Brown was the No.1 overall pick for the Washington Wizards when Jordan was in charge of basketball ops there but turned into a bust. (MJ told me once that Brown's hands were incredibly small for a big man and that was one of his biggest problems -- Kwame simply couldn't grasp the ball well enough).

Now Jordan has signed Brown to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of around $1.3 million.

Is this just another mistake -- something you could liken to dating your ex-wife?

I actually don't think so. Brown is cheap by NBA standards. He won't be expected to do more than fill a bit of Tyson Chandler's defense-first role with the Bobcats. I admire Jordan a little, actually, for doing this because he knows he's going to get hammered all over again for bringing back bad Kwame memories and signing Brown for Round 2.

So I'm OK with the Kwame signing given how little it costs, and I'm more than OK with Ron Shelton's baseball documentary on Jordan. Watch that one; it's an hour well-spent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. This is the guy that Jordan called a "flaming faggot" http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jackson/050505&num=0