I just finished watching the latest episode of the USA show Royal Pains off my DVR (great show; highly recommend it although they need to put an end to the whole sibling rivalry thing). Afterwards I scanned some of the latest and greatest tidbits on the Charlotte Bobcats (or is it just Cats now?).
In the middle of reading one article about His Airness punching former teammate Steve Kerr at practice back in their playing days I came to a realization.
Michael Jordan is a royal pain.
To be more specific, he is the taller, African-American version of Evan (played by Paulo Costanzo). In the show the two brothers, Evan and Hank, are arguing over the direction of their concierge medical practice. Hank just wants to practice medicine while Evan wants to turn it into a money-making machine.
Separately the two are floundering. Evan knows nothing about medicine while Hank knows even less about business.
In this analogy, Jordan is actually Hank, but circumstances have him playing the role of Evan. Just like Hank appears to be a stud in the practice of medicine, Jordan was one of the best basketball players of all time. Few can even be talked about in the same sentence as him let alone carry his water bottle.
Since stepping into the role of Evan as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (or HankMed to complete the analogy), Jordan has not been stellar. That much is evident with the absolutely dismal season that the team had last year. Just calling it dismal is my way of trying to be nice when referring to the worst season by a team in the history of the NBA.
Jordan was a pretty bad executive with the Washington Wizards. Sadly, the trend has continued in Charlotte with the hiring of the team’s new coach, Mike Dunlap.
Like many of you I have tried to think of a justification for making a college assistant coach the head coach of an NBA team. He did a great job with the Metro State Roadrunners (a DII school) when he was in charge there from 1997-2006. He does have some experience as an NBA assistant (Denver, 2006-08), but since then he has been an assistant at the college level (prior to acting as the interim head coach for St. John’s this past season).
There is nothing extraordinary about his background. I’ve seen a few stories that say he’s a hard-nosed disciplinarian. With the young group that he has that can work, but he’s never been in charge of the caliber of player that he will have with the Bobcats.
Yes, the guys often looked like crap last season, but I blame that on Paul Silas not being able to or caring to try to develop the young, raw talent that the team has. He was too busy sucking at his job and trying to push his son to be the team’s successor. But I digress…
So why would a team hire a head coach that is barely qualified for the job and over some very good candidates? Money; I’d be willing to bet that Shaw, Sloan, and Snyder all required a level of salary that Jordan was not willing to pay. Dunlap, on the other hand, had no room to negotiate.
What Jordan will hopefully soon learn is that it is much easier to do what he is good at, and let someone else handle the business matters. I understand that its his team, but he needs to hire someone else to call the shots (that is qualified, that is).
Jordan can shoot a basketball better than almost anyone. That doesn’t qualify him to make the business decisions of basketball.