Michael Jordan said that Rod Higgins abruptly resigned when Jordan shifted the team’s personnel decisions into the hands of GM Rich Cho. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, the GOAT said that “one of [Higgins’] strong points is not negotiating” and that “sometimes when teams would call (proposing trades), they’d bypass Rod to get to Rich.”
In an exclusive interview with the Charlotte Observer, Jordan said Friday that he recently offered Higgins a new contract and that they had agreed on financial terms. Then, about a week ago, Jordan told Higgins he wanted to rearrange some job responsibilities to better fit Higgins’ and Cho’s skill sets.
“Rod’s strong points are working with the coaches and the trainers, traveling with the team,” Jordan said. “He was my buffer zone with the coaches. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with ideas, so I’d work with Rod on that.”
Jordan said he wants Cho, with a background as an attorney, dealing more with budgets and managing the salary cap.
“One of (Higgins’) strong points is not negotiating, leveraging teams,” Jordan said. “Sometimes when teams would call (proposing trades), they’d bypass Rod to get to Rich.”
Higgins, with the franchise since 2007, teamed with Cho the last three years. Jordan said that arrangement led to some “confusion over who reported to whom. It created a contentious environment where I had to step in.”
That’s when Jordan proposed these shifts in responsibilities, which Higgins considered a demotion. At that point, Jordan said he asked Higgins if they could wait until after the draft to make a change.
“He chose to leave now,” Jordan said.