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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 3:44 pm  |  35 responses

MJ Responds to Larry Brown, Defends Bobcats Front Office


After Larry Brown made some harsh comments directed at Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats, the oft-quiet MJ came out and defended his team and its execs. Here’s what the legend had to say:

From the Charlotte Observer:

“It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room,’’ Jordan told the Observer.

“The idea that people can’t do that is just wrong. Curtis (Polk, team vice chairman) has worked with me for over 20 years and he’s never had a problem telling me, ‘no.’ Rod (Higgins, president of basketball operations) has no problem telling me no. Fred (Whitfield, team president) has no problem telling me ‘no.’ And Rich (Cho, the team’s general manager) is about as direct and candid a person as you’ll ever meet.’’

Jordan also said Wednesday morning that while the Bobcats are in rebuilding mode, he never planned –or anticipated – a season where the team would finish last in the league, much less possibly with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

His team has lost 21 games in a row, but he insisted this season’s results won’t dissuade him from the rebuilding plan that started with the trades of veterans Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson last winter and spring.

“This was going to be a trying year – we knew that,” Jordan said. “But did we want to chase the most Ping-Pong balls (in the May 30 draft lottery)? No way.’’

“Ever since I’ve owned the team (buying control from Bob Johnson in March 2010), I think we’ve made some very positive moves on the business side. We had to make a difficult decision to turn over the (basketball) talent.

“This year the talent we had didn’t respond, but that doesn’t cause me to turn my back on the plan.’’

Jordan said he didn’t expect such harsh criticism from Brown, a fellow former North Carolina player, but it also didn’t “surprise’’ him after Jordan let Brown go in December of 2010.

“I imagine he was pretty upset we chose to change directions,’’ Jordan said of Brown, a Hall of Fame coach who is known to be high-maintenance with his front office. As long-time NBA executive Donnie Walsh used to say of close friend Brown, he’s not happy unless he’s unhappy.

Brown suggested on the Dan Patrick show that Jordan placed “spies’’ in the basketball operation “wondering what we were doing and getting back to him.’’

“I’m pretty sure he’s talking about Rod and (head athletic trainer) Steve Stricker, and I don’t think that’s an accurate description of either one of them,’’ Jordan said.

Brown went on to say “a coach, a general manager and a president all have to be attached at the hip.’’

Jordan’s response: “He had a lot of input on whatever we did. I never sidestepped him in making a decision. I gave my advice as a former player. I thought we developed a trust where everyone could share his opinion. I gave my input, but I wasn’t the only one whose opinion counted.

“I didn’t always agree with what he recommended, but I thought that was healthy. The owner, the coach and the general manager should be able to all disagree. I’d like to think that’s the healthiest approach.’’

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  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    21 game losing streak, about to break the record for worst end to a season. Let two of your starting 5 go. It’s safe to say you did a terrible job and as of now you’re tanking on purpose. If you’re still saying that your current team can compete in the NBA on a nightly basis, then you’re lying through your championship rings as you palm your face.

  • MUBWAR

    if the bobcats lose the remaining 2 games(and they somehow will), Jordan will be associated with the best winning % of all time(72-10 .878) and the worst (7-59 .106). woow

  • slamfan4life

    he should just lace em up and hoop for CHA

  • north

    Let’s just remember that two years ago before the season started the Bobcats had made a ridiculous trade with Toronto for Jose Calderon that would have left this team with less than it has (including the pick that got Kemba) but MJ stepped in last minute to VETO it. I don’t think most of the blame goes to him. He didn’t make that stupid trade, he stopped it.
    The Bobcats need a better GM and a clear plan or they’re doomed to years like the Raptors, Warriors and Kings. MJ has only owned the team since 2010… two years is not long enough to turn a team around.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If Michael Jordan didn’t know this team was going to be really really bad then he shouldn’t let himself be involved in team related discussions. You have to be a complete moron to think that team even stood a chance to win 20 games. (I’m sorry to everyone who picked them to win that much, I didn’t mean to offend you. Maybe you were just a moron for that short amount of time, or maybe it was a bad day. Idk)

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    like any other bad team in NBA history. 1 draft pick can change all of that. everyone tries to act like front offices are some kinda genius, if we’re honest most of them had a great player fall into their lap

  • Dennis

    MJ,
    Let’s review the talent that you were responsible for, no we won’t go there. Man up MJ, the record this year should tell
    you something?…

  • AsadSaleh3

    Jordan gave Tyrus Thomas a big contract. Drafted Adam Morrison. Drafted Kwame Brown in 01 and signed him as a free agent last season. Traded away Felton, Chandler, Wallace, Stephen Jackson. Plenty of evidence to indicate the fact that he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to evaluating talent. He drafted Kemba. Good call. Drafted Gerald Henderson. Another good call. Now back off and hire people who can surround them with other talented players. Provide the money and stay away.

  • titanic

    MJ is full of sh**. when you give away your best players in chandler, wallace, and jackson you are in fact raising the white the flag – tanking the next few seasons. stop the madness. there is no reason for him to be so defensive or surprised by what brown is saying. It`s 100% factual. And brown`s statements is in no way linked to “hurt feelings due to him being fired by MJ in 2010″ because I guarantee you brown was going to walk middle of that season regardless. brown lead the bobcats to their 1st PO appearance in team history and MJ responded with “positive business transactions” giving away all of their talent. Not only are the people around MJ morons but MJ himself is incompetent and now dishonest.

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    But if they get Anthony Davis they’ll be turning around.

  • titanic

    I believe felton left for free agency and signed with the knicks for something like $5 mil/yr. don`t remember there being a trade in that situation.

  • Chris

    “It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room,’’ Jordan told the Observer.

    I think that’s an infinite loop, lol

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    Turning around into a 360 full circle. As of right now Davis is just a raw defensive talent. He won’t help them or whatever tea he goes to next season.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    That was @Red

  • lakernation

    So Jordan practically tainted another season to get draft picks that he will probably/eventually trade in the future. SMH

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    would I call him incompetent? no. he’s just an @sshole for tanking and then acting like he isn’t. what I would say though is that stephen jackson, gerald wallace and tyson chandler will only get you first round exits as a team. so i guess he had to blow it up. although personally I wish he would’ve tried to get more back for them.

  • titanic

    cosign @lix

  • titanic

    anthony davis seems like a good player with nice nba potential – as a rebounder and versatile defender with the ability to defend positions 3 to 5 – but he is underdeveloped and will not turn any team around by himself.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Bobcats get #1 pick.
    Executives are about to tell Stern they pick Anthony Davis.
    Jordan storms through, announces their pick: John Henson!
    Bobcats suck again and again.
    Jordan leaves and then buys the Raptors.
    Repeat.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    MJ needs to sell the team and lace the high prices Jordans up and get back on the floor. Bobcats should have kept Felton, Wallace and should trade Thomas for anything. Bobcats probably will end up taking Austin Rivers. BOOK IT!

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    No chance MJ lets them pick a Duke boy.

  • BRYANT BYNUM GASOL 24 17 16

    micheal you have won seven games and lost 59 and you don’t really have any injuries

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    john henson wouldn’t be a terrible pick actually, although obviously they should pick Davis. Am I wrong in saying that Henson is actually just Anthony Davis lite with more experience?

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

    lol Caboose, The Raptors don’t need MJ’s help to be a joke. “This year the talent we had didn’t respond, but that doesn’t cause me to turn my back on the plan.’’ He has a point on this. None of the players with a marginal amount of talent have preformed at all. Magette has battled injuries and the ability to find the basket, Gerald Henderson and DJ Augustin both have had nights where they clearly aren’t giving their all, Diaw actually got cut because he was so apathetic, Tyrus hasn’t been the same since his injury, and Kemba Walker has had a rough time figuring out NBA basketball. Derrick Brown, Bismack Biyambo, and BJ Mullens are the three guys who go all out the most; D-Brown shows some promise but is wildly inconsistent, Bismack is still very raw, and Mullens needs to toughen up a bit.

  • J1son

    I was at the ‘cats game when they played the grizzles, and their was more of a turnout than the tv would lead u to believe cuz I was on the 6th row, but they still had ppl in the nosebleeds. That being said is that CHA is very supportive of the team, its just hard to root for talent thats are 12th men on most teams. I went to a game last yr when they had jackson, wallace, augistin, kwame, yes, kwame brown and that was so much better than this squad. They advertised jordan coming out and he no showed, not a good look for a paying audience mj. If they had one decent player, say, allen iverson, they at least would be watchable.

  • K.a.

    I buy it. Ive read the spin before on MJ assistant before n MJ has proved hes a good business builder. Look at the AJ brand. Building a bball team aint a thang (ask dupri) but i think MJ is conscious of his decision if not sincere n intent. Might as well lose big when ur losing and dude above is right. If they get the brow everything turns up peaches.

  • Justin G.

    I agree that with the lineup the Bobcats had a couple years ago, they weren’t going anywhere outside of a first round exit. I believe blowing the team up was the right thing to do but as someone else pointed out, they probably could have gotten more in return for those trades. As usual though, people want results yesterday and think it’s easy to simply turn a team around and since MJ was such a great player he MUST somehow be able to quickly make the team better from an owner’s spot as well. Doesn’t work that way people

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    There is still better ways to blow a team up then to create the worst team ever and still have some terrible contracts. Lol he’s been awful. Plain and simple.

  • BRYANT BYNUM GASOL 24 17 16

    If they don’t get first overall the draft system needs to change. 7-59 and you could still possibly draft fifth. WOW

  • J1son

    How crazy would it be if the bullets (hate the wizards) draft #1 again. Please mj, not another kwame or adam morrison. AI to Charlotte! We need that! It’s ashame cuz the time warner cable arena is so nice, in the heart of downtown for such a sorry squad. Its irresponsible for mj to put out that kind of product to its consumers, on purpose! larry johnson, alonzo mourning, and mugsy bogues aren’t walking through that door

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Not even the Bobcats can mess up this draft.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Miami Joe

    Don’t be afraid to adimt it fellas… Jordan is a HASBEEN. Pure and simple.

  • DerekG

    What did you expect MJ to say? The fishmonger never tells you the fish is stale!

  • Sven

    Ah, how quickly do we forget…The Clippers have been awfull for years but profitable and now could be able to compete in the coming years.
    The Warriors, pre and post Lebron-Cavaliers, Grizzlies, knicks…and many other teams have been awfull for years…most of them while losing money.

    I’m not saying MJ is a proven business man or owner but at least he understands that spending tons of money on a borderline playoff team is useless. He should stick to his plan of developing and drafting young guys (high picks) and patiently building a potential contender.

    Never thought Sterling or even Kahn could turn out to be mentors :-)

  • matt

    what smart business moves did you make Michael? You took a playoff team and turned them into a team that may go down as the worst ever. Your currently on a 21 game losing streak AND to top it off, this is the second team you have done this to. It’s safe to say you haven’t done ANY smart business moves lately. The smartest thing you’ve done since you’ve retired is re-release your best jordans each year. Now that’s a smart business move lol

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