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Jordan denies report he’ll sell Bobcats if they continue to suck

Apr 2, 2012, 8:13 AM EDT

Michael Jordan AP

When NBA owners put their teams on the market, there are billionaires waiting in the wings who would love to snatch up one of these toys. Often guys who also want to move the teams. We’re looking at you, Larry Ellison.

So whenever Michael Jordan does sell the Bobcats there will be a market — but Jordan is denying a report out of New York that a sale could be sooner rather than later.

It all started with a story Sunday in the New York Daily News.

Nearing the end of another lost season as Bobcats owner, Jordan recently told his GM, Rich Cho, to start planning for a rebuilding campaign. He also dropped a bombshell, telling Cho and other deputies that if this one doesn’t produce a winner and he continues to lose millions over the next “three to four years,” then he intends to sell the team.

“I told Rich to make us better,” Jordan told one associate recently. “If that doesn’t work and I can’t make a profit in the next three to four years, then I’m selling.”

You knew the denial would be coming soon after that paper hit the street, and it did, with a statement from Jordan posted on the Bobcats Web site.

“I was disturbed to hear the false report that I intend to sell my majority interest in the Charlotte Bobcats. I am 100% committed to building the Bobcats into a contender and have no plans to sell the team.”

What else is he going to say? Whether or not it is the truth, Jordan had no choice but to issue that statement.

Jordan is rich by your and my standards — unless you own your own Carolina blue jet — but he is not by NBA owner standards. His pockets are not that deep. If the new CBA and eventually (maybe) some better play on the court are not enough to turn around the financial fortunes of the Bobcats, it’s reasonable to expect him to sell. There already are reports his other investors are not happy.

But either way, this is something that is years away. It just wouldn’t be shocking if it came to that.

  1. jmclarkent - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I think rebuilding is smart, no one should be untouchable on this team (especially for the right offer). I think they have a solid GM, the goal should now be to get a real coach (re: Not a retread/ guy who had lost everywhere he’s been). I’d like to see them grab a young assist/ college coach – someone with something to prove would work.

    I also think that they need to change the team name and uniforms – any mention of the prior failed regime needs to be eliminated.

  2. jmclarkent - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I think rebuilding is smart, no one should be untouchable on this team (especially for the right offer). I think they have a solid GM, the goal should now be to get a real coach (re: Not a retread/ guy who had lost everywhere he’s been). I’d like to see them grab a young assist/ college coach – someone with something to prove would work.

    Finally they need to change the team name and uniforms – any mention of the prior failed regime needs to be eliminated.

  3. glink123 - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I agree that Jordan is not rich by NBA owner standards. From the list of owners, more than half of them have a net worth of more than $1 billion. Jordan, after the divorce, is still worth around $500 million. However, for whatever reason, people like to bash Jerry Reinsdorf as being super-rich (by team owner standards), when in fact, his net worth is only $280 million, or roughly half of Jordan’s. Matt Moore rips Reinsdorf in an article for being “cheap”, yet the Bulls team payroll is consistently in the top 10 in the league (as it should be, for a major market team). People forget that Reinsdorf paid Jordan $66 million for his final two seasons in Chicago. That was 15 years ago. That’s a 2-year contract record that may never be broken in the NBA.

  4. hwatt - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    good heads up article. at some point it’s just not going to be financially possible to keep running the team through the gutter. He may need to consider the Larry Bird option more seriously

  5. steviep23 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Haha if they continue to suck? You guys hiring any more people to write articles?

  6. losangelasbasketball - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Jordon: “Let’s get Kwame Brown.”
    Jordon’s inner circle: “Yes!”

  7. glink123 - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Here’s a suggestion for MJ. Hire Phil Jackson as your new GM and let him make *all* basketball-related decisions, including who the next coach will be. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

  8. AlohaMrHand - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Dies David Stern hate the Charlotte area?Not only do the beloved Hornets leave than he gives them an expansion team that’s run just as poorly as a team can be runAnd now it’s possible they might leave as well.

  9. 24thesho - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Well, they are continuing to suck. He should have sold them last season and should avoid owning any other teams, ever! He was still the greatest player, though! He should really put in some more time in your his game, I think he could make some noise in the PGA.

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