Michael Jordan took over the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010, just after Charlotte had reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
With a six-time champion at the helm things could only get better, right?
It turns out that in his first season as a GM, Michael Jordan may very well have been one of the worst owners in the NBA. However, Jordan’s actions helped out three other teams. Let’s take a look.
Jordan helps gets New York back to the Playoffs
When Jordan took over, the Bobcats’ point guard, Raymond Felton, was a free agent. Rather than re-sign Felton, Jordan decided to let him walk. He signed with New York, where he played quite well and helped New York back to the playoffs. Of course, New York thanked him by sending him to Denver for some aging and overrated players, but that’s another story.
Jordan gets Dallas a Title
Rather than send Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw to Toronto for a much needed point guard replacement in Jose Calderon, Jordan instead traded Chandler to Dallas for Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll. Of the three, only Dampier had played well recently. Jordan then cut Dampier (the only good part of the trade). Najera and Carroll played fewer than 1,000 minutes combined. And Chandler went on to play like a top 25 player for Dallas and was arguably the finals MVP.
Jordan Keeps Portland Respectable
While Portland had just come off of back-to-back 50 win seasons, Eduardo the knee fairy was acting up again and Portland looked to be in danger of missing the playoffs. Jordan, being a nice guy, traded Portland his only star — Gerald Wallace — in exchange for Sean Marks (useless), Dante Cunningham (useless), and Joel Przbilla (once good, but now injured). Jordan also got some draft picks in the deal, but do we really think the guy who once drafted Kwame will use them well?
Jordan Torpedoes the Bobcats and then Complains
In addition to the moves above, the Bobcats decided to sign Shaun Livingston and Kwame Brown as free agents and traded away Nazr Mohammed. Those moves completed an ignominious feat: taking a playoff roster and getting rid of the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th best players from the previous season. Arguably, the Bobcats made one decent move in signing Dominic McGuire, who played rather well for them. But of course they waived him late in the season.
And all that means… Jordan took a decent franchise with some upside and tore it apart. Then, during the lockout, he had the gall to fight against the players.
From his record last season, we can see that Jordan and the Bobcats helped turn around the fortune of not one, not two, but three teams. Not many owners can even claim that of one team, so in that regard Jordan is quite a success. Of course, none of those teams were his own, which is a bit of a problem. In fact, when it came to the Bobcats, Jordan was an overwhelming failure; we can’t even applaud Jordan from a cost cutting angle. Teams make money based on their home gate revenue, and that is driven by winning. As all of Jordan’s moves have in fact cost his teams wins, he is a poor owner from the financial side as well. In the lockout negotiations Jordan may claim that the league is losing money and blame the players, but if the league is losing money, it may be the fault of bad owners. And Jordan stands as a great example of how an owner can be “less than good”.