During his introductory press conference as the new majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan talked a lot about building bridges with season ticket holders, casual fans, and especially local businesses.
It’s the right (and smart) thing to do, and one that thanks to former owner Bob Johnson, will now become a lot tougher for MJ to accomplish. Johnson, apparently still bitter over losing untold sums of money on the Bobcats, ripped the business community in Charlotte for having failed to support his struggling franchise.
The Observer reports that Johnson, ironically made the biting remarks minutes after he was presented with an award by those businesses:
Days after selling the Charlotte Bobcats, Bob Johnson called Charlotte’s business community “arrogant” and “incestuous” and said the city doesn’t do enough for existing and potential minority-owned business.
“Charlotte is a very, how would I call it, close-knit, arrogant, sometimes incestuous town … It’s close-knit, and if you come to this town, and you look like you’re one of those people that might break some glass … it’s going to be tough for them to relate to.
“The thing that concerns me is that I’m just surprised that the city doesn’t do more for African-American small businesses. And I don’t really understand that.”
Jordan is off to a good start with the locals, having written an open letter to the city, and the media seems to be on his side. Can you blame them, after having dealt with Bob Johnson all these years?
Here’s to hoping things turn out better for Mike in Charlotte than they did for Bob.