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Jordan actually present this time around, and it's not a good thing

Mar 10, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

Michael Jordan’s majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats was announced just over a week ago, but his approach is already drastically different. Namely, it seems like he actually cares. I’m not necessarily sold that he does, but for once, post-retirement Jordan is trying to sell us on himself the way he’s always tried to sell us on his shoes, on Hanes, and on Gatorade.

Head of basketball operations Jordan didn’t even bother to be in the city for home games, much less care what anyone had to say. Part-owner Jordan didn’t often go to watch his team in person, much less care what anyone had to say. And now, after the announcement that Jordan will be the official owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, he’s suddenly sitting right there at the end of the bench, posturing like all hell for the cameras, and still doesn’t much care what anyone has to say.

He still wants to be visible because he’s still Michael Jordan. And though he’s enjoyed his stint away from the constant bright lights, let’s not for a minute pretend that he doesn’t like the attention. Jordan’s afforded the opportunity to be callous because he knows that no matter what he does, the lights will find him. The cameras will find him. And before it may have taken a glance around the luxury boxes to see him glad-handing a potential sponsor, but now with his name in the headlines once again, Jordan is making himself completely visible yet again.

Take this quick hit from Ira Winderman in his recap of last night’s Heat-Bobcats game:

Michael Jordan, Charlotte’s impending majority owner, not only is
becoming more of a fixture at Bobcats games, but now sits at the end of
the team’s bench. Somehow, we couldn’t envision Pat Riley sharing fist
pumps with Yakhouba Diawara.

I know that’s Mark Cuban’s shtick, but here’s the difference: in all of Cuban’s years as Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, I’ve never once questioned his commitment or sincerity. He lives and dies with that team. It’s why he’s outspoken, it’s why he sends in tapes that showcase bad refereeing, it’s why David Stern takes a long sigh before answering a phone with Mark on the other end. The Mavs were his team long before they were his team, and for an owner of that mentality, sitting on the bench and being more involved makes sense.

But for Jordan? Grow up, man. We’ve seen you try to run the show before, and I don’t expect to see you jumping up and down after a Raymond Felton three-pointer. Hell, I didn’t even really expect for you to show up for the games at all. But here you are, gracing the Bobcats’ bench with your presence, and making everything considerably more difficult and awkward in the process.

As Kelly Dwyer notes in the link above, it doesn’t have to be this way. Michael doesn’t have to be part of the reason why Larry Brown will leave the Bobcats this summer, and he doesn’t have to be the reason why the players in Charlotte grow increasingly agitated with the act. It could all end here and MJ could do a fine job of not only running the team, but conducting himself in an appropriate manner that isn’t a complete betrayal of everything we’ve known about Jordan since his playings days came to a close.

If he wasn’t already a parody of himself before, Jordan certainly is now. I just wish he wouldn’t do it at the expense of a franchise that’s always been dangerously close to ruin, but has seen their first flash of hope in the team’s young history. 

  1. Keetch - Mar 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    “…he’s suddenly sitting right there at the end of the bench.”
    Ummm…MJ has been coming to games and sitting at the end of the bench for the last 2 seasons. I know; I sit just a few rows behind him.
    And frankly I don’t think he likes the attention all that much.
    Fans in Charlotte love MJ and are happy and enthused that he has become majority Owner. We love seeing him engaged to the Bobcats games.
    Please do a little research before writing crap on NBC. This is a mainstream news medium; not some random blog.

  2. Spectre - Mar 10, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    What a pitiful hit piece. If you’d have cared to do ANY research Charlotte wants a ownership presence at the games and in fact Johnson has been crucified for not being there by the local paper since their inception!
    Guy can’t win for losing. The Charlotte Observer runs a monthly article on Jordan not being there and then the clueless national media rips him for showing up!

  3. Anonymous - Mar 10, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    “Research?” When did these idiots ever research something before they opened their journalistic mouth? They write anything to create a story before the next guy, then figure out the details later.
    He**, about 2 months ago when Tiger Woods was still in hiding, I read 3 different articles, by 3 different people, In a 2 hours period (Lunch)
    all had a “Unnamed Source” spot him in Arfica, One in Miss., and One in Phoenix!
    Research? Yea right!

  4. ATarheel - Mar 10, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    And they wonder why we despise “news” people? They are moronic, ambulance chasing imbeciles. This guy is worse.

  5. Chris - Mar 10, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Rob Mahoney is a jacka$$. Stop your jealousy. Because MJ chose to come to watch a game of interest, he needs to stay away, PLeeeez, spare us your infantile journalism. Grow up.

  6. Randy - Mar 10, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    This is clearly a terrible entry.
    Let’s review why:
    #1. Rob is basing some of his opinion on details from an AP story. He’s come to plenty of games before, only now he’s come to each home game since his purchase.
    #2. MJ is the reason Larry Brown came to Charlotte. Not for Bob Johnson. So it’s comical so try to come up with an angle blaming him for his departure.
    #3. Having MJ involved gives the franchise some extra validity. One of the biggest reasons Stephen Jackson was excited to come here was b/c of Jordan’s involvement.
    #4. The analogy from the Heat blog he’s referencing is retarded. Pat Riley at the end of the bench is far different from M.J. Wouldn’t anyone as a player be more apt to listen to arguably the greatest player of all time?
    My eyes were bleeding after reading this Mahoney character.

  7. Brian - Mar 10, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    After wasting my time reading this idiots article, I’ll follow suit…I hope your pay check got docked for that one!? Damn dude, your !@@ has got to hurt from butt-kickin’ your receiving! Find another job, IDIOT!

  8. garanita - Mar 10, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Although I thoroughly disaggree with Mr.Mahoney, I think he always gets what he wants from his bias articles……criticism, that’s what brings readers and comments like mine to his column.

  9. tj - Mar 10, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    It’s sad that NBC would let you put their name of this trash. MJ has been coming to games with a decent regularity for his entire term as minority owner and head of basketball ops, but he managed to maintain some privacy then. Now, you morons think he’s changed. More like he’s investing some time in a playoff team, and Larry Brown has actually requested his prescence at the games. Also, Larry won’t be leaving, unless MJ asks him too. Good job, imbecile.

  10. skidog - Mar 10, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Well said everybody. Lol.

  11. djnobee - Mar 10, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    wow, talking about ZERO RESPECT to one of the best, if not the best.. YOU need to grow up. Jordan is doing the right thing. I motion to take this entry down!

  12. Left Blank - Mar 10, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    I know it would be all but impossible, as I’m proving by adding to this pile of garbage, but what we need to do is just boycott postings on Mahoney’s articles. No traffic, no ads displayed, no revenue generated by his articles = a good bet that he’ll be asked to move on.
    We could even be level headed about it and only post to his articles when they are almost accurate, although I think the outcome would be the same.

  13. Anonymous - Mar 10, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    I’m tired of people picking on the Greatest of All Time with respect to his ownership / GM skills. Ok, Kwame Brown didn’t pan out, but MJ took a chance. He gave it his all in Washington, playing with drained knees at times.
    Now he is actually turning the Bobcats around. Sure, they may never get to 72-10 like the 95-96 Bulls, but MJ is doing some fine work there, and is committed to winning.

  14. jordan fanatic - Mar 10, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    you’re such an ASSSHOLLLLE! its mike,its airjordan! he dont need your attention! people love him for who he is and to what he did to the bulls way back early and late 90s…. michael jordan rocks,you idiots!

  15. Cade - Mar 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Jordan is a total failure. People who have come across him have told me he’s also a real jerk.

  16. Murph - Mar 10, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Games he is at,he is ALWAYS at the end of the bench talking with players and giving them advice/praise….moron

  17. Simon Heester - Mar 11, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Rob Mahoney FAIL…

  18. Anonymous - Mar 11, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Yeah, winning 6 NBA Championship is a total failure.
    What have you done with your life, eat 6 doughnuts?

  19. #1steelerfan - Mar 11, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    I agree with every comment made regarding this stupid posting. Mahoney you are a DB to the 10th degree and should give up this profession!!

  20. Joe from P town - Mar 11, 2010 at 11:51 AM


  21. rumpdog1 - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    You can do what ever you want you have earned it Jordan. people need to stop bad mouthing you and grow up.

  22. fourthlense - Mar 11, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    If I watch or play basketball I want to smell the Juicy Fruit on Mike’s breath.

  23. CN - Mar 11, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Who is this idiot? What was the point of this piece and why blame MJ for getting involved? Only this loser knows.

  24. JC - Mar 11, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    It sounds like everyone who posted has let their Hanes ride up too high. Go for Boxers!

  25. Kevin - Mar 11, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    I had heard that too when I worked in Charlotte but after running into him on several occasions at Sullivan’s I was convinced otherwise…
    He gets bothered constantly but was always gracious when people went up to talk to him on the patio…

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