Michael Jordan is undoubtedly the best player to ever lace ’em up. Or if you want to count a Bill Russell or a Wilt Chamberlain for that distinct honor, then you have to at least say MJ was the very best player under 6-foot-9 inches.
That being said of his Airness as a player hasn’t necessarily translated to championships in the front office. Jordan tried his hand at being a GM/player with the Washington Wizards. That didn’t work too well. However, Jordan did help Detroit win a championship. His trade of Richard Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse gave Joe Dumars and the Pistons just what they eventually needed to get over the hump in building a championship caliber team without a superstar.
That fiasco ended rather abruptly and angrily as Wizard owner Abe Pollin offered Jordan 10 million dollars to basically go away; only to have Jordan reportedly refuse in anger.
After a failed attempt to become part owner of the Milwaukee Bucks (owner Senator Herb Kohl is said to have reneged at the last minute), Jordan is now a minority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. For Jordan it’s a homecoming. Although he was born in Brooklyn, New York, Jordan was raised in North Carolina, where he attended high school and college. There he led the Tar Heels to a dramatic NCAA title in 1982 as a freshman.
Jordan’s inaugural draft pick for the Bobcats was small forward Adam Morrison out of Gonzaga. He rewarded Jordan with an 11.8 scoring average while playing in 78 out of a possible 82 games with 23 starts. Not too shabby for a guy that has to shoot himself with insulin while sometimes on the bench (during games, he’s playing in) because he’s diabetic. Besides, he was a rookie so there has to be a learning curve.
But will this year’s version of the Bobcats be better? Bernie Bickerstaff left the coaching sidelines to pry his trade in the front office. So Jordan hired his buddy Sam Vincent to take over the coaching reigns. The Bobcats drafted North Carolina’s 6-9 forward Brandan Wright with the eight overall pick and then subsequently traded him to the Golden State Warriors for athletic and explosive swingman Jason Richardson. That set in motion the type of team the Bobcats were looking to form. With Richardson pairing with budding star Gerald Wallace (who was wisely re-signed over the summer to a long term contract) the Cats’ could soon be clawing their way out of the Lottery.
But that would also hinge on the Bobcat bigs.
Yes, the big guys – Emeka Okafor and Sean May – that always seem to get hurt or injured throughout the course of a season. Neither one has played a full season in the NBA. In fact, May is out of this season coming up after having micro facture surgery recently and is said to be looking at a 6-to-12 month rehab stint.
The Bobcats are laden with swing guys, especially if you count sharpshooter Matt Carroll, who was also signed to a long-term contract. But for the men needed in the 6-9, 6-10 regions, the cupboard is getting barren. There was talk that they were about to sign free agent center Marc Jackson, but he elected to go overseas. Seven-foot one center Primoz Brezec and 6-9 forward Walter Herrmann won’t be scaring too many people.
Perhaps another trade could be in the offing.