Michael Jordan has been retired for 18 years now, but the GOAT debate with LeBron James is at its peak. Drafting LaMelo Ball swings the pendulum a bit.
Jordan first bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2006, a couple of seasons after his final retirement. He consolidated his position and became a majority owner in February 2010.
The Bobcats/Hornets have mostly not been a good franchise in MJ’s hands. They’re yet to win a playoff series with him in charge. Charlotte had a chance to break that streak with a good season this year, but those hopes have been derailed.
Drafting LaMelo Ball and signing Gordon Hayward are two excellent moves that the Hornets’ front office has made recently. These are moves that could propel them to a long streak of playoff appearances.
On this day in 2003, young @KingJames shook hands with Michael Jordan after a Wizards game.
“Black Jesus. … It was overwhelming to finally meet the guy I’ve looked up to my whole life.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2021
Michael Jordan is setting great ownership standards for LeBron James to emulate
The Hornets have been trying to get things back on track since 2018. They roped in Executive of the Year winner Mitch Kupchak in 2018, and the former Lakers GM has been steadily setting their house in order ever since.
Charlotte is no longer the laughing stock of the league. Obviously, Michael Jordan has taken a backseat and allowed his front office to operate with the requisite freedom. This is still something the likes of Glen Taylor and Robert Sarver didn’t understand till recently.
Obviously, the front office will have to do more to attract role players to Charlotte. Small market teams tend to lose out on acquiring most role players they pursue, but Mitch Kupchak has repeatedly proved his mettle at converting these opportunities.
They should be fine as long as they’re able to avoid contracts like Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo and Nicholas Batum.
LeBron James is a partner with Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox and Liverpool FC. James will be expected to have a larger say in these teams’ running. James has already made it clear that he intends to own an NBA franchise in the future. One would hope that he doesn’t have an MJ-like learning curve.