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Michael Jordan always looking out for No. 23

Nov 5, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Michael Jordan’s image is taking a beating for the first time… well, really since the 1980’s. After the reports surfaced that he’s the one leading the owners to push for 47 percent (or less!) of a BRI cut for the players, he’s become a target for angst regarding the lockout from those who have paid attention enough to understand the owners’ role in this.

It’s not so much that anyone’s surprised by Jordan’s stance, everyone understood there is no one more ruthless than Jordan. It’s just the rare instance when that side of him sees the light of day. Usually its hidden. His only public reveal of his petty vindictiveness and selfish approach was his Hall of Fame speech, because, really, that’s where you want to show the worst side of yourself. This seems somehow worse because of his complete flip-flop from when he was a player. But many people have rightfully pointed out, he was for himself then, and he’s for himself now. He wanted more money as a player, and more money as an owner. He’s not inconsistent, he’s just consistently self-centered, and in today’s society, there are those that think that’s “awesome,” or “admirable,” or at least understandable. There’s a certain cache to basically saying you only care about yourself. It’s brazen and bold. Compassion and compromise are seen as weak, and a lot of people hate weakness more than they hate brutality or ego. I’m not one of them, but there are people out there that feel that way. But then, of course, there’s this from Yahoo! Sports Friday night.

Had Michael Jordan spoken up at All-Star Weekend labor meeting, union had his famous Abe Pollin quote ready to read aloud. He stayed silent.Sat Nov 05 02:59:34 via web

Oh, the GOAT will screw you, he’s just not going to tell it to your face. After all, he needs you to keep pimping those shoes! Jordan Brand! Woo!

In some ways maybe the 80’s and 90’s were better without the kind of information exposure that comes with the internet. Then everyone could go on ignoring the realities of Jordan’s character in their pursuit of his deification. None of this will ever change the fact that he was the GOAT..That’s how good he was, his performance couldn’t be marred by any personal flaw.  But if Jordan is going to sell out the very group he championed, who look up to him, who helped build the culture that allows him to remain relevant, the least he could do is give them the fist pump or a shoulder shrug in person.

Jordan’s a winner. Jordan’s going to win. And for some people, that’s all they need to keep his name and image shiny and new.

  1. Reiner - Nov 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    No use arguing which millionaires should be making more money, especially when the fans continue to give them more of their own money.

    If MJ thought he could make more money today as a player instead of an owner, then he would still be playing (if he could physically).

    The whole article smells of jealousy. Anybody complaining about actors turned producers or union employees turned executives? Those with the egos will prevail.

    Who’s John Galt?

  2. asublimeday - Nov 5, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    The hipocracy of a website that regularly champions and defends lebrons brazen selfishness criticizing MJ is mind-blowing.

  3. rreducla1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Should the players not be competent enough to continue to bring money to make the system sustainable?


    You are making two basic mistakes:

    1. You are assuming the league is “not sustainable.” Given that revenues have been steadily rising and rose again last year, that seems highly unlikely. Buying the owners’ premises unquestioningly and then lecturing people about them as if it’s obvious they are right is a typical ownerhawk error.
    2. The owners determine ticket prices, as well as the prices of other things that bring in revenue, and they negotiate the TV, radio and internet deals. They also, of course, decide what to pay their players. So, if the business is indeed struggling, they need to look in one place: the mirror.

    As I have said about 15 times today, the owners’ choice to focus on getting more money out of the players as opposed to choosing to focus on revenue sharing as the #1 issue tells reasonable observers a lot of what they need to know about this situation.

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