Michael Jordan may be the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, but that doesn’t mean he’s above lacing up the sneakers and working out with his team once in a while.
On Tuesday, the NBA legend decided to mix it up with his team during practice. The Charlotte Observer says MJ went one-on-one with Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Henderson. “He has a unique viewpoint. He’s always got something helpful to say, and it’s great to have him out here.
“He’s attentive. He watches every game, he watches every practice,” said Henderson. “He always feels like he can help you.”
A few Bobcats players raved about the 49-year-old’s ability.
“He’s still got it. He can still shoot,” Henderson said. “I don’t know about his defense, but he can still score.”
Bismack Biyombo thinks Jordan could still play if he wanted to.
“He can still play the game. Honestly, the way I see him, I think he can still play if he wants to,” said Biyombo.
Biyombo acknowledged that it would be tough for a 50-year-old to chase around 25-year-olds, but he said that Jordan “was good.”
Unfortunately, Jordan’s practice efforts didn’t help Charlotte end its losing streak. The Bobcats fell to the Clippers 100-94 on Wednesday for their ninth-straight loss. At least they’ve already matched last season’s total for wins.
For those of you who are not into alternative rock, Ben Folds Five is a band consisting of three members that was formed nearly 20 years ago. Apparently the musicians are also from North Carolina, which I guess in some way gives them a connection to the Charlotte Bobcats. That’s what Ben Folds himself is trying to sell, at least.
On Sunday night, Folds took to Twitter to try to convince the Bobcats and their fans to let his group be the pit band at a game at some point this season. He did so with three consecutive tweets.
Nothing like a little shameless self promotion. I’m thinking Michael Jordan probably has more important things to worry about at the moment than who the house band will be on a given night, but it’s worth a shot. That’s what Twitter’s for, right?
Michael Jordan may finally be willing to come to terms with his failures as majority owner of the Bobcats. As a player, Jordan was arguably the best of all time. As a manager and overseer, he has found little to no success. Jordan became an owner in Charlotte in 2006, and the team has had just one winning season since then. The Bobcats finished last season with an embarrassing 7-59 record, and that may have been the final straw for His Airness.
According to ESPN the Magazine, Jordan has removed himself from the day-to-day equation with the team and informed his front office staff that he will no longer be micromanaging them. He has also reportedly handed over personnel decisions to new 47-year-old GM Rich Cho, who was been described as a “Moneyball kind of guy” that is knowledgeable with high-level metrics.
“Obviously, I’m a competitor,” Jordan said over the summer when asked about last season’s debacle. “I never want to be in the record books for failure.”
M.J. has an ego. We all know this. He bought the Bobcats thinking he knew enough about basketball to turn the franchise around. At the moment, it appears he has done the opposite. Even his own close friends have openly stated that Jordan has not done an adequate job and has not made the proper basketball decisions over the past half decade or so. You know how they say those who can’t do teach? Sometimes those who can do can only do.
Don’t worry Dallas fans, the Mavericks haven’t changed their franchise’s team name to the “Cats.” The Charlotte Bobcats have simply unveiled new uniforms for the 2012-2013 season that look extremely similar to the ones Dirk Nowitzki and company wear. With a new head coach, color scheme, uniform design, and logo, the Bobcats are clearly looking to start fresh next year. The sad part is — as The Basketball Jones pointed out via Chris Creamer’s sports logos website — this is the fourth time Charlotte has changed its look in only eight years as a franchise. Maybe the uniform isn’t the problem?
Personally, I would have stuck with the short-lived jerseys that the Bobcats had last season. Even though they are a new franchise that has yet to establish any kind of identity, I liked how the pinstripe look gave them somewhat of a nostalgic appearance. Call me old fashioned. In any event, they are certainly easier to look at than the other basketball uniform that was debuted as a possibility earlier this week. Here are some more pictures courtesy of NBA.com.
The handful of remaining Bobcats fans in the world currently have their fingers crossed that the team earns the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft lottery. Charlotte has not won a playoff game in its eight-year existence, but a player like Kentucky’s Anthony Davis could give fans hope for the future. It could also make season tickets overwhelmingly affordable.
By overwhelmingly affordable, we mean dirt cheap. According to the Charlotte Observer, the Bobcats recently announced that they will be offering extreme discounts on about 500 upper-deck season tickets this season, with prices that could be as low as $43 per seat — for the entire season. The program, which is called “Pay the Pick,” will make the price of a ticket equal to the position the Bobcats earn in the draft lottery later this month. Charlotte has a 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 overall pick, and if they do the specially-priced seats will cost $1 per game. They are guaranteed the No. 4 pick or higher, meaning the 500 seats will be priced no higher than $4 per game or $172 for the season.
And I thought student season tickets were cheap when I attended UConn. The Bobcats ranked 25th out of 30 teams in average attendance last season, so selling tickets has obviously been a major issue. When you consistently put a poor product on the court, that will happen. Apparently the Bobcats are not the first team to run this promotion. The Timberwolves did it for several years starting with the 2008-2009 season, but they never earned the top overall pick. Hopefully for the fans of Charlotte, this promotion isn’t accompanied by some sort of curse.
If you wanted proof of how much of a train wreck the Charlotte Bobcats are this season (well, other than their record), it reportedly presented itself in the form of an ugly shouting match that turned physical between a 68-year-old coach and a 25-year-old player in the team’s locker room on Sunday.
After, you guessed it, another Bobcats loss — this time a double-digit defeat to a shorthanded Boston squad — Paul Silas reportedly lashed out at Tyrus Thomas for being chummy with Celtics players during the game. It only escalated from there. More, from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Eventually, Thomas snapped back at Silas, and the coach warned him to say no more or risk a suspension.
Once Thomas stood up, Silas pushed him toward his locker stall, sources said.
Yikes. Talk about rock bottom. I don’t even know if Anthony Davis can save a team from that. Both Silas and Thomas were fined by the team for the incident, as if being on a 7-54 team that’s lost 18 in a row wasn’t punishment enough.
Michael Jordan is a business man, and losing money is not part of his business plan. That’s why he’s reportedly planning to sell the Bobcats if they don’t improve to the point they’re profitable.
“I told Rich (Cho) to make us better,” Jordan told one associate recently, according to the New York Daily News. “If that doesn’t work and I can’t make a profit in the next three to four years, then I’m selling,” he reportedly said.
MJ reportedly told GM Rich Cho to prepare for another rebuilding season and that the pressure is on to build a winner. The team apparently lost $20 million last season and stands to lose even more money during this season’s disastrous 7-43 campaign.
Jordan’s Bobcats have gone downhill quickly since making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history two seasons ago. Even Charles Barkley criticized MJ as an owner. But if Charlotte lands the top overall pick in the NBA lottery, the rebuilding process would begin with Kentucky forward Anthony Davis. If they hit home runs in two straight drafts, they’ll be in business. They’ll have to otherwise it sounds like MJ is out.
Stephen Jackson will be playing for his seventh different NBA team this year. An 11-year veteran, Jackson has bounced around about as much as possible and been relatively productive wherever he’s gone. When the Bucks take on the Bobcats on Monday, he will be taking taking on the most recent of his former teams, the Bobcats. According to Jackson, he gave up on Charlotte when Gerald Wallace was traded to the Blazers last February.
“When Gerald left, I really left,’’ Jackson said Monday according to the Charlotte Observer. “Considering what we did (getting to) the playoffs, and then all those changes. To take Gerald away really took a lot out of me. I still was trying to do my job as best I can, but it was a lot harder. When they got rid of Gerald, that let me know they didn’t want to win. I didn’t want to be part of a place like that.’’
There are plenty of veterans who have been stuck on rebuilding teams that feel the same way, but most keep it to themselves. Jackson said he feels as though the Bucks give him a better chance to reach the playoffs, but he has “no hard feelings” toward his former team. However, Milwaukee was 35-47 a year ago and is a team with a number of holes. Jackson said he wasn’t going to be happy “just losing” in Charlotte, so should Bucks fans be worried? Their new player has basically admitted he calls it quits when times are tough.
The NBA’s local TV ratings are in and some of the numbers are not pretty. As expected, some of the top teams in the league have very good ratings while the teams at the bottom are struggling mightily. Actually, struggling mightily would be an understatement. The Nets posted a rating of 0.29, so yeah — literally nobody cares about the Nets yet despite Mikhail Prokhorov’s tough talk.
Deadspin called our attention to the most alarming note from Sports Business Journal‘s ratings (which can be seen in their entirety here). The Charlotte Bobcats averaged 15,846 fans per home game this season. That number certainly isn’t great, but it’s not terrible as it ranks 21st in the league. The Milwaukee Bucks averaged an attendance of 15,412, which put them at 23rd in the league. What’s embarrassing is that both of these teams averaged less household viewership than attendance, with Milwuakee bringing in an average of 13,000 viewers and Charlotte 12,000.
Until that no-talent carpet bagger decided to start taking coaching jobs all over the place, sullying the name that is Larry Brown. I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting a response to my namesake taking a job with the Bobcats, so I’ll have at it. First of all, I would like to say that I was planning on this ass clown being done with his coaching career by the time I actually started doing productive things with my life like masturbating caged animals for a living writing a sports site and giving scores on the radio. I tried the whole middle initial thing for a while there in college, but Larry W. Brown never seemed right. Neither did Laurence Brown, nor L. Whitney Brown as it were. I’ve always just been Larry Brown. So now I’m just waiting for this dude to kick the coaching bucket. So anyway …
This is probably a good move for Mr. Brown. He goes to a team with no expectations, no culture of winning, and no history of success. He can easily step in and be the savior, making the franchise respectable and blow their mind by taking Charlotte to the playoffs. There was no way Larry was going to end his career on the Knicks note. But now he can be the charmed prince just by leading this team to the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference — a feat well within his means. It’s a talented roster with some good pieces in place. Hopefully he leads the turnaround and sends Charlotte to the playoffs next season, and then retires following his second year there, after they’ve won their first playoff series in franchise history. That’s the sort of the timeline I have in my head, and I’m guessing both LB and MJ are thinking the same thing. Then he can ride off into the sunset and never be heard from again, and I can go on living my life without this Waldo mucking everything up.