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Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 11:31 am  |  53 responses

Michael Jordan May Sell the Charlotte Bobcats if They Don’t Improve (Updated)


It isn’t the best time to be an NBA owner—many teams are losing money, and the combination of those financial losses with a franchise’s on-the-court losses can be tough for ownership to handle. According to the NY Daily News, Michael Jordan is getting tired of it all, and so he’ll try to instill a rebuilding plan within his Charlotte Bobcats organization over the next three to four years, and then sell if there isn’t any clear-cut progress: “Nearing the end of another lost season as Bobcats owner, [Michael] 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.’ This is a change of plans for Jordan, who over almost the past year has been seeking a buyer to purchase half the team. The Bobcats lost $20 million last season and they’re headed for more big losses this season. Jordan’s decision to give the assignment of rebuilding to Cho means that Rod Higgins, his long-time president of basketball operations who goes back to when he ran the Wizards, is on the outs. Jordan told Cho, the Thunder’s former assistant GM who arrived in Charlotte last June, to ‘follow the Oklahoma City model.’”

UPDATE: MJ’s denial, via Yahoo!‘s Marc Spears:

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  • Aizen

    If MJ suited up and played for the Bobcats, they’d be 100x better than what they are now. For realz.

  • ripslam

    “Follow the Oklahoma City model”? Alright, so all they have to do is draft a once-in-a-generation superstar talent, a top-5 point guard in the league, and a potential Sixth Man of the Year, three years in a row. Easy enough.

  • random

    SEATTLE SUPERSONICS

  • VanCityVibe

    NO, VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES

  • random

    @ripslam don’t forget a defensive player of the year candidate

  • Yesse

    I still remember how passionate he was about being the owner a couple of months ago.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/03/wilson-chandler-signed-5-year-37-million-deal-with-denver-nuggets/ Philly

    relocate!!!!!

  • dazzy

    Jordan’s ego won’t allow him to accept that his player success doesn’t translate into success at running a team. He should have never bought it in the first place.

  • ben2424

    sell it, buy a baseball team.

  • MikeC.

    @ Philly – Seattle, Vancouver, Anaheim or Vegas would all be good cities for relocation. A bad NBA team just can’t compete for fan dollars with the college programs getting the love first in NC.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    It would be the best thing that could ever happen to them. MJ Is as incompetent as a general manager as he was godly a player.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Well, he’s already selling the house.
    That team done made him sell the house. lol

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    You people screaming ‘relocate’ have no idea what you are talking about. Charlotte is more populated than Seattle, Anaheim, or Vegas. Vancouver proved it didn’t collectively care enough about basketball. And Charlotte is far enough away from ‘Tobacco Road’. The Hornets lead the NBA in attendance for a while. The Bobcats sold out the one time they made the playoffs. The problem is that after that group had 1/2 a season together, Mike let Felton go and traded Chandler for a bag of dog food and hot dog meat. Plus, they have a pretty good deal with the city of Charlotte that makes them locked in. They aren’t going anywhere. None of this information is new. Cho has been rebuilding the team the entire year. We are a seven win team, the coach is letting his son get experience, and honestly besides Bismark Biyambo/Kemba Walker/Gerald Henderson/BJ Mullens/Reggie Williams/Derrick Brown I dont know who will be on the roster next year. They will have the top pick + a ton of cap space coming off the books within the next two years. A lot more upside than most places.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    I also want to say it is hard for a “bad NBA team” to get money anywhere. That is why the Sonics were sold and that is why a 5+ year long rumor of the Kings leaving Sacramento for Vegas existed.

  • jay cutler

    Following the OKC model means bombing for the next 3 seasons so…

  • 602Shorty

    Change the Name And Find Good playerS

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Changing the name would be a start, always thought the Charlotte Hornets had a great ring to it, it’s a shame that’s no longer an option. If Jordan is in this for the money then he has to target Harrison Barnes, it’s a surefire way to get North Carolina behind the team and start earning money, given that he’s already a household name and would be a hometown hero. I kinda knew this day would come though, Jordan is far too impatient to go through a proper rebuild, but if I were him I would have hired Kevin Pritchard over Rich Cho, he’s the one who rebuilt Portland from the ground up.

  • ARL31

    MJ selling and severing ties with the franchise would be the first step to its improvement.

  • Gaz

    @ BETCATS… I may sell your Momma if she doesn’t improve {in bed}… or alternatively, I may just ‘relocate’ from her beaver to her anus.

  • logues

    california doesnt need another nba team, they already have 3… can vegas even has an nba team? if so that would be ideal. or seattle… i want the sonics back!

  • Justin G.

    @BETCATS…I’m sorry but as far as Vancouver goes YOU have no idea what you’re talking about. That team was never really given a chance to succeed. Neither them nor the Raptors were allowed to have the top pick for their first three years of existence, their first year in the league they couldn’t draft in the top 5. Naturally this led to losing years and you look at teams now, teams that have been around for years, they don’t get full houses when they aren’t winning. At the time the Canadian dollar was horrible as well and when Michael Heisley bought the team he told everyone he was keeping the team in Vancouver. Almost immediately he moved the team to Memphis. David Stern even admitted that the Grizzlies leaving Vancouver was one of his two greatest regrets as commissioner with Seattle leaving being the other. Vancouver can more than sustain a team now

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Jordan should read the book “Moneyball” and/or give a call to his good friend Joe Dumars in Detroit. (Say Joe, how did you manage to build a championship team with no stars?).

    But I agree with the poster above, the OKC model may not be that easily duplicated. Apart maybe from the part where you actually give your young guys a chance to develop.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Oh yeah, and Mike might also want to speak to Popovich in San Antonio. That guy knows how to develop players.

  • Fresh Boiardee

    @ompalos… agree on the name change, I could never take Charlotte serious; “bobcats” sounds so D-League-ish. And they already tried the “draft a UNC player” strategy with May and Felton, it seemed liked it worked (don’t really follow Charlotte), but no wins = no one cares. North Carolina is Duke, UNC, even State looking like they want to be a factor. I say go back to what got you winning in the first place… Rehire Larry Brown, pick up two solid vets who can give you 15-18pts, let Kimba run point.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Justin all I know about Vancouver is that the owner moved it and it never was marketed well. Although they did have better attendance than they got in Memphis, so maybe one day the NBA should go back their. But my point was Charlotte has plenty of merit.

  • golakeshow

    Betcats are you a charlotte fan

  • Mega

    Heisley lied to everyones face here in Vancouver. He moved the team and I hope he realizes it probably wasnt the smartest idea. In case u didnt know, Heisley, our city is f****** balling. We have more natural resources then we need, too many developments to count, so much to do and downtown is a lot of rich young people. We have sold out every Canucks game for about 10 yrs straight, and half the ppl in the stadium aren’t even hockey fans! Just ppl who got dough and want somethin to do (seriously we r known around the NHL snobby fans). What a terrible miscalculation by your advisors, u think BBall cant sell here, but I have to ask ‘what doesnt sell here?’ We r the most culturally diverse city on the West coast. Soo in summary, ya I am extremely bitter towards stern, and straight up hate heisley. My hatred is warranted though, I was a huuuge NBA fan and 12 yrs old when they robbed us.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    That makes sense, I was the same way about George Shin. Regarding this story, Jordan released a statement saying it is 100% false. From the USA Today: “in a statement, Jordan says he 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.”"

  • Dashi

    @ logues California actually has 4 NBA teams. The 2 LA teams, Sacramento and Golden State

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    START the rebuilding process? What the hell do you call this?!

  • http://hotmail.com GBtha G

    MJ is absolutely spot on.Why continue waste his money on a useless project??

  • u1378

    some people are saying Vancouver doesnt “care” about basketball. 10 years ago the team relocated to memphis because of terrible ownership. the team was averaging 17,000 in attendance and they were last in the league(better than the Raptors are doing today). a move to vancouver would be smart for several reasons:
    1. their would be a instant vancouver-toronto rivalry
    2. when the team relocated the population of the city was under 2 million, the population now is 2.5 million
    3. The Aquilini group has run of one of the most successful nhl franchises in the vancouver canucks, and aquilini could do the same for a nba team

    a nba team will eventually come to vancouver, the question is whether it is going to be in the next 5,10, or 50 years

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    ^A bunch of idiots trying to bang a doorknob.

  • ClydeSays

    Like ripslam pointed out following the OKC or Spurs ‘model’ is alot harder that it seems. You have to have a high draft pick & use it on a once in a generation player like Durant or Duncan. Those guys only turn up once a decade AND you have to be in a position to draft them. Even then, you need a good GM to find complimentary players, hire a coach who preaches Defense AND Offense. Health & luck help too.

    Much more common is that a team lucks into a player like Shaq, Iverson, Lebron, Dwight or KG and instead of building a dynasty, the team mishandles them until they’re forced to trade them or let them walk. Jordan should know that better than most….

  • http://ZOGS.COM ZOGS

    COMPTON NEGROBALLERS

  • Mega

    Caboose is bangin a doorknob, its straight up his caboose

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    MJ needs to man up, draft better, get some people on his staff that will tell him he is dumb. I live in NC and this is sad that MJ eye for talent doesn’t apply for basketball, just women. MJ, is better off hiring Zeke for talent and if MJ was smart, steal Sam Presti from OKC for his asking price. MJ sucks and he is old and tired, get someone in NC, who cares about winning. BOOK IT!!

  • Rainman

    U shudnt have given gerald wallace and stephen jackson away for peanuts then u goof…

  • SikhWitIt

    @ Mega – No one cares about Vancouver. Move them to Seattle, if anywhere. Culturally diverse? All you guys have are white people, Punjabis and people from Hong Kong lol. Seattle, San Francisco and L.A. are 10x more diverse and interesting as cities.

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    He will quit like did in the NBA in 95 and 98. He’s a great competitor but he’s love for the game is nowhere near Magics’ who cried when he was forced to leave the game.

  • trueballer4life

    ANTHONY DAVIS BOBCATS #1 PICK NBA DRAFT 2012!..

  • crooklyn

    Just another example of the reckless, irresponsible job of “reporting” by NY “sportswriters”. This clown mitch lawrence once again reporting about crap he knows nothing about. There should be a law against all these “anonymous” sources, or people who want to go “unnamed” as being relevant to a story.

  • jay

    Jordan’s a fool for thinking he could make money. Owning an NBA team is more of a toy or a hobby. It’s not an investment.

  • http://slamonline.com Jones

    @ripslam Don’t forget “count on all the teams ahead of you being idiots”. Yeah, I’m looking at you Portland. Thanks for drafting Greg “Glassbones” Oden instead of Durant with the number one pick btw!

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    I love that the one time BET makes comments on the site, Gaz has to say something ridiculous. Get a life dude.

  • CyberCosmiX

    As successful as MJ has been on the court as a player, he’s been as epically bad off it…

    If Jerry West and Magic’s legacy can be enhanced by what they’ve done after they retired, MJ needs to be held to the same standard, no?

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Hursty, Im suprised someone actually remembers who I am.

  • http://dgcoursereview.com Bro.D.

    @Clydesays You have to realize there is no alternative to tanking for a small market team like Charlotte. We can’t build through major FA signings like the Heat or through trades like the Lakers and Knicks, we only have the draft to acquire superstar talent. Amassing high draft picks and cap room is the only way to become competitive otherwise it’s the treadmill of chasing the 8th seed, getting swept, and attracting only 15k fans all the time.

  • http://www,nba.com VanCityBBall

    if Anthony Davis does go to the Bobcats, what will happen to Bismack Byiombo?… and for the record, as somebody who ACTUALLY lives in Vancouver, i’m not afraid to tell you WE ARE READY FOR A TEAM.

  • ryanl2015

    Ok let me settle this Seattle was built around the Sonics am im sure as the color black that Seattle is thee most qualified city. Vancouver, your Canadian you don’t know half the game and you’ll dry up just like Toronto… Anaheim, why are you even in discussion? your a suburb just cause your in California doesn’t mean your good… And Vegas your a tourist destination and if you receive a team your stadium will get run down AMD the lack of fan base will run the team out of town… Now Seattle… they have already approved on a stadium project that will be state of the art they have an investor, their an iconic city, they fell like their heart was ripped out when they lost this team. Vancouver??? really? win a Stanley for God sake

  • Justin G.

    ryan, can you do me a favour before you post anything else on this site? Learn the difference between your and you’re please? Thanks. And Vancouver deserves a team just as much as Seattle does. I mean…Seattle? Really? Win a World Series for God’s sake

  • Reticulo

    To BETCATS:

    I think you need to check your population facts when it comes to media markets. Charlotte is nowhere close to as big as Seattle.

    Seattle is about 13th

    Charlotte is about 25th.

  • Jesse

    Charlotte is Mayberry trying to pretend like they matter. I mean the entire MSA is barely over 1 mil. There is no way a small town like charlotte should have ANY pro teams. The bobcats are as good as gone, and LA could come in and snatch up the panthers as soon as the owner dies.

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