Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A wiser, more realistic Jordan

The contrast was striking.

A little more than a year ago, just before the 2010-11 NBA season began, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was full of bravado. In a town-hall type meeting with 700 of the team’s best customers, he said: “At minimum, we should make the playoffs. And I think we should go deep in the playoffs.”

But on Wednesday, when Jordan met with Observer reporters and editors just before the 2011-12 Bobcats season, he came across more as a wiser and more world-weary NBA owner who has taken a couple of lumps over the past year.

There was the NBA lockout. There was the fact the Bobcats didn’t make the playoffs at all last season, ending with a 34-48 record. There was the reality that Jordan, despite his undeniable magnetism, has not been able to stem the red ink flowing from the Bobcats and has yet to attract the superstar player the team so badly needs.

A year later, Jordan remains optimistic – he wouldn’t rule out the playoffs for this bunch and compared rookie Bismack Biyombo to a young Hakeem Olajuwon -- – but also sounded more realistic. He told us he wanted to win “today” but tempered that quickly by saying “there are certain things you have to take into consideration, like (salary) cap space.”

Since Jordan made the “deep in the playoffs” remark in October 2010, the team has changed coaches (Larry Brown to Paul Silas) and traded away its two best players (Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson).

The Bobcats are going young this season, with two top-10 draft picks joining Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin. They will absorb losses by the dozen this season, and although Jordan won’t say it, I will: If these Bobcats make the playoffs, it will be an utter miracle.

Still, it’s apparent Jordan has a plan. He wouldn’t say it like this, but ultimately to get better, the Bobcats are first going to have to get worse.

Their ceiling with Jackson and Wallace at the forefront was never high enough to win a single playoff game. So Jordan is trying to do something different, and I commend him for that. He still believes he can fly.

But he also now understands how difficult – although not impossible -- it is to build a pair of wings big enough to lift an entire franchise.


Anonymous said...

please change the teams name to the hornets... please

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hornets are gone, get over it Dec 14 6:37.

That being said, MJ has the right idea. Hopefully they will execute. I think having Rich Cho in as the GM will help dramatically. Just give this team 2 years.

George Hanson said...

At this point I am confident saying the Bobcats will never win a 1st round playoff series with Air Minimum at the helm.

It won't happen folks, exhale.

Anonymous said...

The first step to recovery is realizing you have a problem. This could be an important step for this team. Now if only some of these posters would realize they have a problem.

Anonymous said...

The problem with building through the draft in the NBA is the stupid lottery. The Hornets used to get lucky (#1 pick in '91 and getting Larry Johnson, #2 pick in '92 and getting Alonzo), but the Bobcats always get the shaft. We have had one of the 3 worst records twice but have never had a top 3 pick (we had to trade up to #2 in '04 to get Okafor). If the trend reverses, we'll be OK. I just don't trust that it will.

Anonymous said...

Face reality.

The NBA is the least popular pro sport on the planet and the scumbag union strike was no diff than the scumbag union NFL strike.
MLB is just as bad.

The tv cables cos are now raising cable rates twice a year to pay for all this BS.

If the NBA survives another 2-3 yrs it will be a miracle and dont forget taxpayers also pay for all the arenas not owners.
(TWC arena cost local taxpayers 500 million exclud interest)

FredW said...

People still cry about the Hornets? Good lord, it is 2012, not 1988. Let it go. They moved on, you should as well.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the nba is dying fast.......too many thugs and it is just boring.

Anonymous said...

The word "great" is thrown around a lot by dummies for certain players incorrectly. The real definition has nothing to do with sports unless its size.

Definitions of great- (prefix)

1.being parent of grandparent: being a parent of somebody's grandparent
2.being grandchild's child: being a child of one of somebody's grandchildren
Encarta World English Dictionary.

Great - definition of great
1. Very large in size.
2. Larger in size than others of the same kind.
3. Large in quantity or number: A great throng awaited us.

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