Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is Jordan the Best Option for Bobcats?

While Michael Jordan's credentials are secure as a player, his track record as an executive have been fodder for sports talk radio and print columnists alike. So in the wake of this latest buzz that Jordan is trying to put an offer together to purchase the Charlotte Bobcats from Bob Johnson, I find myself torn. On one hand there's the cache of having Jordan, he of the six championships and whom most consider the NBA's greatest player, guide what appears to be an up and coming franchise for the next decade. Not to mention having the state's native son own the team; after all, let's face it, there was never much connecting Bob Johnson with North Carolina in the first place.

However Jordan himself hasn't settled down here either. Just like his stint in Washington D.C. running the Wizards, Jordan pops in and out, keeping tabs on the team mostly via TV and cell phone calls. Then there's his history as executive. The questionable draft choices, Kwame Brown (with the Wizards), Adam Morrison. The trades for Jason Richardson and of Omeka Okafor. Still, the team seems poised to make it's first playoff appearance in franchise history. Take that for what it's worth as they don't seem to be a threat to Cleveland, Boston or Orlando. The question becomes is the team succeeding because of Jordan or in spite of him. Only time will tell.

The bottom line, Jordan will own the Bobcats if he comes up with the best deal and that's no slam dunk. For as much money as Jordan has earned in his lifetime, it's likely he'll be relying on others to come up with most of the cash. I don't purport to have intimate knowledge of the negotiations, but I listen to people who are plugged into the NBA. Sam Smith is a long time reporter who covered Jordan during his glory days with the Bulls. As a guest on a recent radio show, Smith doubted Jordan would be able to come up with a package that would net him the team. Still, anything could happen. But just because NBA Commissioner David Stern and Bobcats coach Larry Brown have given Jordan public endorsements doesn't mean ownership is a done deal. If Jordan does end up owning the franchise, it'll be his chance to prove he can just as successful an owner as he was as a player.

Jason Brown

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