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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. uncle mento - Mar 11, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Rob Mahoney?
    You robbeb me of my time. You are criticizing the great one for being involved in the business he knows how? You must be dreaming or on drugs to call MJ a failure. Do you understand the meaning of what you wrote? That MJ is seeking attention means that you are sick. Leave drugs alone fool, it’s not doing you any good.

  2. SS - Mar 11, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Rob, you have the IQ of a tennis ball.

  3. SS - Mar 11, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Rob, you have the IQ of a tennis ball.

  4. Frankie - Mar 11, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    AMEN Keetch! I will always have respect and love for MJ! Who is the clown that wrote this article anyway?

  5. Royboy - Mar 11, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    That bad to talk about MJ….One off Tiger back

  6. Robj - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    The man is a soon-to-be majority owner of the team…and you’re telling him to “grow up” because he’s showing up to games?
    …AND you blast him for NOT showing up before?!?!
    You even take an odd dig at the fact that Jordan has endorsed shoes, Hanes, and Gatorade.
    I’m sure that, after reading all these comments, you’ll be sure you have a legitimate reason before blasting someone in the future.
    Just bizarre.

  7. okun oratokhai - Mar 26, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Dude you sound like you may have been a celtics fan(excuse me,that noise was me throwing up)or a new york fan!Let it go dude!Let the man die before you bury him.

  8. okun oratokhai - Mar 26, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Dude man!You talking about mike,air jordan,air,mj?And you are?Cool it dude;nobody is perfect in all aspects in life.But HIS AIRNESS was as close to an imortal on the court!So have some respect!SWOOSH!

  9. weezilgirl - Mar 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    I haven’t been here before and about 1/4 through the article I was talking to myself and muttering about this ‘writer.
    I’ll tell you what is wrong with this guy. He is jealous! Michael Jordan has more social grace in one little finger than this guy will have in his life. Michael Jordan knows basketball. This guy knows bitching and moaning because MJ is doing something that he’ll never come close to doing.
    If he goes to the games, does he pay or is he getting in on some sort of ‘press pass’?

  10. ju - Apr 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    This is a terrible article. Instead of bashing Jordan Why don’t we talk about how cheap, disparaging, and totally incorrect your article is! You need to find a new job-totally pitiful.

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