If you ever looked for a big moment in the history of this francise, this is it. Michael Jordan, the day after approval was granted by the board of governors, has been on a media whirlwind tour. He was on Sportscenter, he was on CNBC, the press conference was live across 4 channels, it was a big day. Best interview I saw was on News 14 with Mike Solarte. The best question: ”What would your dad say?” Michael Jordan loves talking about his dad. He meant a lot to him and the tragic loss would make me think he means even more today. The answer is what excited me the most.
Michael basically said that his dad would be the biggest supporter of the francise, “all over this place” talking about Time Warner Cable Arena. He also said that Dad would be proud he’s back in North Carolina, back at home. That means something. Michael Jordan has been in Chicago since ’86? He’s most recently put down some roots in South Florida (a Cubano Girlfriend I believe) and he’s been part of Washington and Charlotte but he calls this home. I like that.
Michael Jordan is a big deal. His Jordan brand with Nike has pulled in $1 Billion. A full billion dollars is nothing to sneeze at ever. He’s amassed more money than any pro athlete save maybe Tiger and Michael Schumacher and his name still carries with it the clout possible higher than that of a Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. He’s the biggest name in basketball and has worldwide recognition and sway unmatched by any owner. Other than Jerry Buss or Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago, every other owner probably gets giddy as any of us would at meeting the man, this is big.
I’m not saying he’s the face and whole of the franchise, quite the opposite. He’s an addition and the boss and the team is his now. The face of the franchise remains Larry Brown and the players. We’re in the middle of a playoff push and MJ will be there every step. If he’s not a huge factor in what we already have and that doesn’t give you hope for this team’s future, I don’t know what will. This is really spelled out well by Lowery (I know time heals all but just look at the link).
Just watch and wait, the Bobcats will be elite, but like Charles Barkley, I don’t think you can be successful hiring buddies and not basketball and business people. There is a good team in place with Rod Higgins, Coach Brown and Fred Whitfield, heck our old buddy Michael Thompson is a heck of a corporate communications man. I don’t think there will be sweeping changes but a guy who wants to win like Jordan will look at every way to do it.
I disagree with Scott Fowler, that Jordan as Charlotte’s newest resident hundred-millionaire is somehow supposed to prop up the libraries or some other large donation. He’s here for business. You don’t ask the Bank of America executives to donate their money. You haven’t called out Jerry Richardson. While you can take two stories and tie them together, you have to make sense. So there, I’ve bashed another of the Observer’s sports department and still the readers go there instead of here. Tell your family friends and neighbors.
Just to sum up: I’m pumped. After all, my first real research or anything for this site was anti-Bob Johnson. My latest makes me sound like a school girl in love with one Mr. Michael Jeffery Jordan. Grow up in the early/mid ’90s and see if it doesn’t happen to you too.