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Michael Jordan hopes Hornets can land a superstar

Jun 11, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

Michael Jordan Michael Jordan

Elementary-school students love Michael Jordan, but how do NBA superstars feel about him?

That might determine whether the Charlotte Hornets, the team Jordan owns, take the next step.

Charlotte made a surprising run to the playoffs this season, and the Hornets have a deep and relative young supporting cast around their All-NBA third-team center, Al Jefferson. But Jordan is aiming higher.

Jordan, via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

“I always thought it was a great destination. I think Big Al (Jefferson) proved you can come here and make a big difference,” Jordan said Monday. “Hopefully we can look at that and attract some other superstar.”

Other superstar? Hopefully, Jordan was referring to himself and not Jefferson. I’m a big fan of Jefferson and his mid-career development, but even the most liberal uses of the term wouldn’t include him.

Anyway, the Hornets will have a hard time luring a superstar for no other reason than than they haven’t shown they can support one. Since Charlotte re-entered the NBA as the Bobcats in 2004-05, only the Kings (edit: and Bucks) have had fewer All-Stars:


Gerald Wallace made the All-Star Game in 2010, but he’s not really a perception changer. I doubt some like, say, Carmelo Anthony would say, “Gerald Wallace really put Charlotte on the map. Now, that’s a destination.”

Jefferson might ultimately help the Hornets land a true star. He made the team better, and Charlotte has no chance of luring a superstar without already winning on the court.

But that still might not be enough.

Jordan is the ultimate draw. As the greatest player in NBA history, he immediately commands respect, even among this generation of players. His ties with Nike could also help make the necessary connections.

The Hornets face an uphill battle to land a superstar, and talking about getting one is easy – every team wants one – but if it’s a challenge Jordan is serious about pursuing, the mission starts with him.

  1. davidly - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    The term superstar only lends itself to interpretation. It is whatever it means to any one of us. Big Al is a superstar.

  2. cantonb0und13 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Everyone needs to stop labeling everyone a superstar. Guys who are superstars are: LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Duncan — proven champions. Al Jefferson is a star not a superstar.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Superstardom is not even dependent on winning or losing – I think a true list of superstars is basically the small selection of players that Fortune 500 companies would consider to endorse their products and services.

    • program33 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Right now neither is Wade

  3. alexb1234 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Al Jefferson is the second best big man in the game (2nd to Aldridge), if you are the second best player at your position you are a superstar.

  4. sportsfan18 - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    A true superstar…

    IS able to carry their teams… maybe not by themselves to a title, but a good ways just by themselves…

    IS able to play BOTH defense and offense.

    I mean, are they a “basketball superstar” if they can’t play defense?

    That would make them an offensive superstar, but NOT a basketball superstar as basketball INCLUDES defense and one cannot be a super star while being middling to a below league average defensive player.

    A true basketball superstar has a high basketball IQ… they are NOT just great athletes. They UNDERSTAND the game.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      So Magic Johnson was an offensive superstar and not a basketball superstar? Charles Barkley was an offensive superstar and not a basketball superstar? Nah.

      Superstardom has nothing to do with being a complete player.

  5. jimeejohnson - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    MJ should suit up. He could probably score over anyone in the league even now!

  6. wend28 - Jun 11, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    In half a season, Al Jefferson was the best player in franchise history of the Bobcats, now Hornets. If Charlotte can get another guy equal to his talent, they will be a potential top 3 team in the East. Agree he’s not a super star in the LeBron, Kobe, etc mold. But still an All-Star caliber player, who is very underrated. Look forward to seeing this team get even better next season.

  7. tomtravis76 - Jun 11, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Wait until next off season to make real moves for the Hornets franchise.

  8. fm31970 - Jun 11, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    And when was the Milwaukee Bucks franchise folded, and the NBA shrunk to 29 teams!?!?!

  9. phluffyclouds - Jun 11, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Big Al should’ve made the All-Star team in 2013-14. The whole fan vote brings zero validity to this.

    Side note, 6 of the Top 8 teams in the graph are Western teams, all Southwestern.

    When you think, basketball, you don’t think Southwest. But they are representing well in the NBA.

  10. phluffyclouds - Jun 11, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    As a Charlotte fan, I wouldn’t necessarily call Big Al a “superstar”, he’s certainly a “star”. But hey

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