Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest Basketball player of all time. This is something that is hard to deny. A characteristic feature of Jordan during his playing career is an insane thirst for victory. He has carried this on since hanging up his kicks, proving to be just as successful in the boardroom as on the court.
Why does Michael Jordan own the Hornets? Michael Jordan grew up and attended College in North Carolina, he has always had a deep connection with the state. Jordan became a minority owner of Charlotte (then the Bobcats) in 2006 before finally becoming the majority owner when he paid $270million to Bob Johnson for his shares in the NBA franchise. He remains the only former player to be a majority owner in addition to being the only black majority owner of an NBA franchise.
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Overview of Jordan’s Leadership
The Hornets’ franchise is valued at $1.5 billion, according to the latest Forbes rating. It’s only 25th in the NBA. Jordan has held a majority stake in Charlotte for 11 years. During this time, there have been many failures. Just two playoffs with an early exit and a general feeling of hopelessness.
There are not too many people who think that Jordan is a good owner. The share of Jordan’s fault in this is considerable. Michael hated defeat as a player, winning 6 NBA titles in the 90’s. However he has struggled to achieve even a small amount of this success as an owner. Even factoring in the small market of Charlotte, the Hornets dismal run of success since Jordan became chief decision maker looks poor. This must surely rankle Jordan, even if as a whole the value of the franchise has soared, along with the rest of the NBA portfolio.
In the last two years, the situation has changed for the better. The Hornets selected LaMelo Ball with the third pick in the 2020 draft. Ball, who took an unorthodox path to the NBA has shined brightly alongside a young and talented team. LaMelo regularly excites fans with his flashy passing and hitting triple-doubles in the box-score. He has established himself as one of the league’s most versatile young basketball players and looks to be a solid foundation to finally build a winning legacy in the Jordan era.
The current position of Charlotte pleases Jordan. Now, no one can criticize him for his decision to let franchise player Kemba Walker go to Boston in the 2019 offseason. Walker vanished into the Celtics and did not produce impressive performance for the New York Knicks after moving there via OKC. With the undersized Kemba, the Hornets had limited potential, as the player’s 8 years in North Carolina proved. Winning a title in Charlotte will be a tough ask, but the Hornets seem to be taking steps in the right direction at last.
The President of Basketball Operations is a man with broad powers, but still subject to the influence of the owner. Jordan, given his status as both the owner and the GOAT could do whatever he wanted without listening to anyone at all. After his first full season under Jordan, the Charlottes selected point guard Kemba Walker with the 9th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Kemba became the Hornets’ undisputed franchise player, including being called up to the All-Star Game. Subsequent poor decisions of Jordan and his team prevented the Hornets from putting together a worthy environment for Kemba to flourish in. The achievements of Walker while in Charlotte, meager as they were, are a testament to his talent and character.
There were many such failures. In the 2013 draft, the Hornets took center Cody Zeller with the 4th pick. The 2013 draft is littered with players who have had a bigger impact on the NBA than Zeller. Not least is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has now grown to the level of multiple NBA MVP and title winner, he was available up to the 15th pick.
The most promising of their picks was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was immediately traded. Jordan simply refused to accept the strategy of giving up a season so that the team could sink to the bottom of the standings gaining a greater likelihood of selecting higher in the draft. Without a good pick, getting a potential franchise player to join the Hornets was slim. Charlotte is stuck in a “spiral of mediocrity” – the worst state an NBA team can find themselves in. The Hornets are not good enough to compete for the playoffs and not bad enough to stay at the bottom and speed up the process of rebuilding to become competitive. In other words, the Hornets seemed to be in an eternal swamp before landing with the inspiring Lamelo Ball. We’re not going to talk about Frank Kaminsky.
Jordan also tends to give terrible contracts to mediocre performers. A five-year, $40 million deal for Tyrus Thomas was really bad, but Nicolas Batumou’s $120 million maximum contract was also a real nightmare. It can be safely called the worst contract in the league in recent years.
Reddit users are actively discussing who is the worst owner among the 30 NBA clubs. The name of Michael Jordan in terms of frequency of mention is on a par with James Dolan (New York Knicks) and Vivek Ranadive (Sacramento Kings). The Bleacher Report is not shy about releasing an article with the headline “Michael Jordan is perhaps the most mediocre owner in the NBA.”
We have to admit that such characteristics are not groundless. Jordan is not a good owner. Looks like Michael has lowered his standards. He is no longer the ultimate maximalist, as during his playing career. He calmly “goes with the flow” and does not try to change something at any cost. He seems satisfied with the existence of the team at the level of hopeless mediocrity. However, nothing is over yet. Michael Jordan is one of the most competitive people in the world and he will definitely see that glimmer of success soon. As we know, a glimmer is all Jordan needs to rain fire on the league.