Four years ago Michael Jordan purchased what was used to be called the Charlotte Bobcats for $275 million from Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson. Basketball fans in the “Queen City” thought that Jordan’s brilliance on the court would translate into successful ownership of the Charlotte Hornets. However, that has not been the case. Under the ownership of Jordan, the Hornets have a losing record of 138-207. The majority of Hornets fans are probably wondering when Michael Jordan would land a major superstar via trade or free agency in the city of Charlotte.
The have had star players such as Gerald Henderson, Stephen Jackson, and Emeka Okafor. However, the players listed are not game changing superstars like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. You would think that Jordan’s popularity would attract some of the league’s best talent to join the Hornets in today’s NBA. History has shown us that successful careers in team sports, does not translate into a smooth transition in the front office. Whether it be an ownership position, or a general manager; sometimes it just will not work.
Former All-Pro linebacker and four time Super Bowl champion, Matt Millen knows all about what Jordan is going through right now. Matt Millen was chosen to become President and CEO of the Detroit Lions in 2001. Millen’s toughness never translated into the psyche of the Detroit Lions on the field. His eight-year tenure as head of the franchise led to the worst eight year record in the history of the modern NFL (31-84, a 270 winning percentage), which resulted in his firing in 2008.
The difference between Millen and Jordan, is that Jordan is not an employee of the franchise, he is the actual owner. There will be no one writing Jordan a pink slip on his mismanagement of running the Hornets organization. The only way Jordan can rid himself of the misery in Charlotte, is to put the Hornets up for sale once again. The Hornets latest free agent failure, Lance Stephenson was recently traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes two days ago.
According to Hornets GM Rich Cho the trade was all about getting rid of Stephenson. Cho stated that he was under no pressure to move Stephenson. Cho reflected on Jordan’s philosophy that well-run franchises acknowledge mistakes and respond quickly to address them.
Due to the Lance Stephenson experiment not working out in Charlotte, you best believe that Jordan and Cho are preparing to make a major splash in the upcoming free agency period. Aside from the Stephenson trade, there are no other impeding moves that the Hornets are about to make as of right now.
The top free agents of the 2015 free agency period are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Marc Gasol. According to NBA.Com’s Top 10 Free Agents of 2015, Aldridge is the number one prospect on every general managers list. I do not know exactly what Jordan and Cho are actually looking for in this year’s agency class, but Aldridge has to be on their radar. Aldridge, who is a native Texan, is poised to make a major move in the following months.
He once stated that he wanted to be the best Blazer to ever live, and on the surface, that’s admirable. But Wes Matthews’ contract situation and injury status is unclear. Blazers center Robin Lopez is a free agent and Portland’s road to become a serious contender in the Western Conference is a bit shaky at the moment. Aldridge will have his pick of the litter this summer, and his decision could send a ripple effect throughout the entire league.
Photo Credits By: charlotteobserver.com