Tag:Michael Jordan
Posted on: November 23, 2011 6:03 pm

Barkley: Players are 'silly' for bashing Jordan

Posted by Ben Golliver


Nobody understands Michael Jordan the competitor better than his good friend, Basketball Hall of Famer and television commentator Charles Barkley.

Jordan, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, has drawn criticism from current NBA players who believe he is a "hypocrite" for taking a hard-line stance against the players during these negotiations when he famously took a hard-line stance against the owners during similar negotiations during the late-1990s.

In an ESPN Radio Chicago interview -- via SportsRadioInterviews.com- Barkley said players who are critical of Jordan are "silly."
On Michael Jordan’s role in the negotiations and the Heat he’s taking for his tough role in the negotiations

“Well first of all, don’t believe everything you hear. But Michael is an owner now. He can’t sacrifice his franchise. Listen, he’s the reason that all us players are making the money that we are today. But with that being said, he’s an owner now, he’s got to do what’s best for his franchise. I think it’s silly for players to think MJ should sacrifice the whole NBA for the rights of the players. He’s not a player anymore. When he played, he spoke for the players, he made sure every player got paid an enormous amount of money, but right now he’s an owner. That being said, I’ve been very disappointed with some of the owners as far as — look, this is a partnership, and it’s not like a regular business. I don’t think the players should never go lower than 50-50. I think they should take 50-50, but the owners I think want even more. And that’s what disappoints me, because the players are clearly trying to make a deal. But I think the union wants to break the union for good and get a ten-year deal where they make all the profits.”
Not only did Barkley's Phoenix Suns get toasted in the 1993 NBA Finals by Jordan's Chicago Bulls, the two stars have enjoyed gambling together -- whether on the golf course or at the card table -- for decades. Watching a guy refuse to blink during last-second shots, putts with thousands of dollars on the line and all-in calls worth untold sums gives you a pretty good idea about how he might act in a business negotiation worth billions of dollars.

And how might Jordan act? Well, coldly, ruthlessly and, some might say, selfishly, of course. Jordan, a man who never forgot a slight and cherished his grudges, wants to win at all costs, no matter the venue or activity. Barkley, who has witnessed that first hand and suffered because of it, long ago took that for granted.

Of course, it's important to remember that many of the players who are criticizing Jordan -- including Indiana Pacers second-year guard Paul George and Golden State Warriors rookie Klay Thompson and  -- were literally toddlers when Jordan scored 55 points in Game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals. George and Thompson, both born in early 1990, had each just turned 3-years-old. How could they possibly know what Barkley knows about Jordan?

Does that diminish their original accusation that Jordan has acted hypocritically during labor negotiations over the last 15 years? Not totally. To outsiders, including today's players, Jordan clearly took two diametrically-opposed stances. But those stances originate from the same place: unencumbered self-interest.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:39 pm

Metta World Peace wants Jordan one-on-one

By Matt Moore 

Metta World Peace, the player formerly known as Ron Artest, has been very vocal in his criticism of Michael Jordan selling out the players now that he's an owner after championing their cause 12 years ago. He continued that theme the other night as he challenged the G.O.A.T. to a game of one-on-one with the fate of the lockout on the line. From the L.A. Times:
As for Lakers forward Metta World Peace, the work stoppage  apparently has made him suffer amnesia for reasons beyond missing out on the remainder of his three-year, $21-million deal. Its further propelled him to go on unsolicited Twitter rants, which resulted in him Monday night challenging Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one.

"Come on Jordan!! Bring it. One on one. I win lockout over. Ill beat u with my eyes closed and a in and out burger in my right hand!!"
via Metta World Peace challenges Michael Jordan to one-on-one - latimes.com.

It's the double-exclamationmark there that really sells it.

MWP also challenged Jordan, saying he'd spot him 20 points "and a bag of cheetos." He even offered to let Jordan keep the cheetos if he won. That's how magnanimous MWP is. He also said he'd beat Jordan with a Subway sandwich in his hand while listening to Bon Jovi on headphones. 

If you're pondering a theme here, it's "Metta World Peace is (still) out of his mind." 

That said, given the state of the lockout, you'd have a hard time finding a fan that wouldn't mind risking it just to get the owners off their intransigent position. Then again, it is Michael Jordan. So the odds are not great, even at MJ's age.  
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 9:19 pm

Wade pledges loyalty to Jordan despite lockout

Posted by Ben Golliver


NBA legend and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has drawn the scorn of NBA players past and present over the last few months, thanks to his hard-line, anti-player stance in the league's ongoing labor negotiations. 

In case you missed it, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace said that Jordan betrayed NBA players, former New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury called Jordan a "fake sellout", Golden State Warriors wing Klay Thompson and Indiana Pacers wing Paul George agreed that Jordan was a "straight hypocrite", and Washington Wizards guard Nick Young pledged never to wear Jordan's sneakers again. Jordan has generally enjoyed that rare combination of being loved, feared and respected, so all the criticism has been unusual, to say the least.

One prominent NBA player still has Jordan's back, though. Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, one of Jordan Brand's major marketing faces, expressed his loyalty to his sneaker boss in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel on Thursday
"I really didn't need to get involved in all that," Wade said. "Obviously I wear a different hat than certain other guys that got involved in it. And I stay away from it. I have an obligation and I have a job to do and I'm going to do my job."

"That's on Nick Young," Wade said. "That's his moment. Obviously, that's his own choice and decision and, you know, that's something he's going to have to deal with. I can't let that affect me. I have my own things to run, my own stuff to think about what I'm doing with my own shoes.

"Obviously, I heard about it, because you can't do nothing but hear about everything now, because there's nothing else to do."
When Wade refers to the fact that he wears a "different hat" than the players critical of Jordan, what he actually means is that he has his own very popular signature shoe with Jordan and that he is compensated handsomely for it. In 2007, BusinessWeek.com reported that Wade was pulling in roughly $10 million a year in shoe endorsements. By comparison, Young, who is signed with Nike according to the Washington Post, has made $7.4 million in NBA earnings during his 4-year NBA career.

Put simply: Jordan almost certainly pays Wade more money in one year than Young has made in his lifetime. We shouldn't be surprised in the slightest that the two men have different takes on MJ's role in these labor negotiations.

Wade, a Chicago native who grew up idolizing Jordan, modeling his game after No. 23, has earned nearly $70 million in NBA salary and tens of millions more off of endorsements. He could very well find himself on the owners' side of the table in future collective bargaining negotiations if he chooses to follow in Jordan's footsteps after he retires.

For better and worse, Wade, like Jordan, is so fully invested in the massive business system that surrounds the NBA that outside perception of their moral stands doesn't even come under consideration. The "job" and the "obligations" come first, second and third.
Posted on: November 13, 2011 10:14 am

Ron Artest says Michael Jordan betrayed players

Posted by Royce Young

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Michael Jordan has always been every players' hero. But right now, he's every players' enemy. He's the bad guy. He's the owner that's reportedly pushing hardline to a new level and trying to crush the players in every way possible.

Players that have revered him for years are now turning their backs on him. Why? Because Jordan once toed the line for the union famously standing up to Washington owner Abe Pollin during the 1998 negotiations.

And now Jordan's throwing that owner-speak back at the players. Which is why many have spoken out against His Airness. Stephon Marbury went so far as to call M.J. a "sellout." The latest to do it? Metta World Peace. Via TMZ.com:

"We're the same guys that looked up to Michael Jordan when we were kids," he said. "Same guys that wanted to fly like Mike and be like Mike. Even though guys are with different companies, they still love Mike. Love his sneakers and everything. Guys just felt like he didn't support us when we most needed him. He's an owner now, so I guess he's just on the other side."

Artest, who often says wild, nonsensical things, really broke down this Jordan thing better than any player has. It was honest, and true. Jordan has meant everything to so many current players and for him to now toe the line with the owners is really hurtful. They feel like he's betrayed them. It's understandable why Jordan has done it though, like Artest said. He's an owner now so he's going to do owner things.

Some players have called M.J. a hypocrite, but the truth is, he's just an owner. I don't know what's worse right now though.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:43 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 6:58 pm

Stephon Marbury: Michael Jordan is a 'sellout'

Posted by Ben Golliver


I know, I know, Stephon Marbury has a giant tattoo on his head and wasn't coherent for about three years there so you want to tune out everything that comes from his mouth. Totally understandable. 

When it comes to this NBA lockout stuff, though, Marbury has been surprisingly on point. All the way back in January, for example, the former NBA All-Star now playing in China was one of the first to publicly predict that the NBA players would "cave." 10 months later, the National Basketball Players Association has reportedly offered billions of dollars worth of concessions without obtaining a single improvement to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

On Tuesday, Marbury took to Twitter to address another lockout hot topic: NBA legend and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan's role as a hard-liner in these negotiations.

Marbury, as per usual, minced no words.
Micheal Fake Jordan is a sell out. #Period. He forgot which hole he came out of. I said it "Stephon X Marbury"... MJ went from MJ the black cat to a guy who forgot he was a player. Sell your team if you can't make a profit.. Your just a regular dude now! ... When he rapped the Bulls for 36 million for one year no ones said nothing about that... 

He's just a man. I know he's some people's GOd but real is real. Dude forgot he played and demanded millions... he wasn't my idol I just loved his game. He never did nothing that I knew about to change the life off of the court other then hit cats over the head for a 100 150 dollar sneakers and still doing it. Jim Brown said it best. Micky mouse type cat. Wave and break you pocket for as long as he can.

he didn't create nothing. The game was played way before him... 
Marbury hits on similar criticisms leveled at Jordan by current NBA players recently. The main charge is hypocrisy, because Jordan was one a strong advocate for players' rights as a player. But Marbury goes further than Washington Wizards guard Nick Young, Indiana Pacers wing Paul George, and Golden State Warriors forward Klay Thompson went in their criticism. Marbury questions Jordan's loyalty to his race, attempts to undercut his importance to basketball as a whole, and slams Jordan for charging so much money for his signature sneakers.

In one breath, Marbury accuses Jordan of being a selfish hypocrite working against his race's best interests while receiving too much credit for his contributions to his sport. That's not just "keeping it 100," that's more like keeping it approximately 284. He went in so far he's tweeting from a bathtub filled with magma.

Marbury is the rare former NBA player with nothing to lose by launching such an attack on the Greatest Of All Time. That's because he does't have much left. His credibility is in tatters, he's been cast out from the NBA, he's plying his trade half a world away and he is reportedly in millions of dollars worth of debt over his own failed sneaker company. 

Taking a moment to let them sink in, these comments leave you shaking your head. That's essentially unavoidable when a man who once devoured vaseline and live-streamed himself getting into a car crash decides to take up major social consciousness issues. But Marbury's attack here, more than anything, makes you wonder how many others agree with his thinking but are too tied into the NBA's system, or too easily influenced by Jordan's legendary power and influence, to speak up?

Is this another chapter in the ravings of a mad man, or a rare peak behind the curtain at a colleague's resentment -- perhaps silently shared by others -- of the most successful professional basketball player ever's actions and approach.
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:34 am

NBA players call Michael Jordan 'hypocrite'

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Basketball legend and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan became the face of the hard-liner NBA owners this week, when a report broke that he is the face of a group of 10-14 owners who think a 50/50 revenue split with the players is too generous, preferring instead to offer a 47 percent stake.

On Saturday, as labor talks between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association were winding down, at least three NBA players took to Twitter to express their frustration with Jordan. 

"I'm not wearing Jordans no more," Washington Wizards guard Nick Young said. "Can't believe what I just seen and heard from MJ. Elvis Done Left The Building." 

"Damn MJ," Indiana Pacers guard Paul George wondered aloud. "That's how you feel?"

Later, Golden State Warriors rookie wing Klay Thompson replied to George: "You think the 1996 MJ would pull this? Straight hypocrite bro."

George agreed: "Man straight hypocrite bro.. He should've been the 1st one behind us smh."

The charges of hypocrisy stem from the fact that Jordan was a major advocate for NBA players' rights during his playing days. During the 1998 labor negotiations, for example, Jordan famously told then-Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin: "If you can't make a profit, you should sell your team."
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 7:51 pm

Michael Jordan's Bobcats partners want out

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-jordan-yell

At the same time that NBA legend Michael Jordan is reportedly leading the way for his fellow hard-line owners around the league when it comes to the ongoing labor negotiations, he's apparently dealing with some disorder in his own house. The Charlotte Bobcats majority owner is reportedly dealing with defections among his minority owner partners.

The New York Daily News reports that a "big piece" of the Bobcats is for sale.

A minority stake in the Bobcats has recently been put up for sale, the Daily News has learned.

How much of the team is on the market and which partner is looking to get out isn't known, according to sources, although one potential buyer has told business associates that he had been approached about buying "50% of the team.''

However, Jordan is majority owner of the team, which has been losing an estimated $7 million per season in recent years. "Michael isn't going anywhere, but there are other people in his group that want to get out,'' said a source. "There's a big piece for sale.''

The Bobcats were a bottom-10 team in home attendance last season and have made the playoffs just once in their seven years of existence. Jordan slashed payroll in 2011, trading stars Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, and bringing in new GM Rich Cho to help lead a youth movement that will be centered around, at leat for the time being, 2011 draft picks Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo. In other words, the Bobcats would have had no hope of matching last year's win total of 34 if a full 82-game season had been played this year and currently have zero players on the roster with a legit chance at becoming a full-blown star. They also have the likes of Corey Maggette, Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas and DeSagana Diop on the books for fairly big money.

Maybe they should just change the team name to "Charlotte Amnesty BobClauses."

The immediate future is bleak. One or two more years of tanking and some smart drafting by Cho could turn this thing around in a hurry, but that's a tough sell to investors as the team will be bleeding cash and stocking up losses in the standings for the foreseeable future.

No doubt, someone will pony up for the right to be business partners with Jordan, but they will surely know going in that they are paying for that privilege, and possibly nothing more.
Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 2:44 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Posted by Ben Golliver


Just when you thought that the possible decertificiation of the National Basketball Players Association was the biggest threat to the 2011-2012 NBA season, the Greatest Basketball Player Of All Time is reportedly stepping into the forefront, reminding everyone that the world of hoops still revolves around him.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is reportedly leading a band of owners who believe that a 50/50 split of Basketball-Related Income is too much for the owners to give up.

The New York Times has the details.
The owners’ faction includes between 10 and 14 owners and is being led by Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, according to a person who has spoken with the owners. That group wanted the players’ share set no higher than 47 percent, and it was upset when league negotiators proposed a 50-50 split last month.

According to the person who spoke with the owners, Jordan’s faction intends to vote against the 50-50 deal, if negotiations get that far. Saturday’s owners meeting was arranged in part to address that concern.

A majority of the 29 owners are believed to support a 50-50 deal, but they are reluctant to move further. “There’s no one who’s interested in going above 50 percent,” said the person who has spoken with the owners.

Assuming the report's accurary, it's a fairly stunning about-face for Jordan. In 1998, just 13 years ago, Jordan famously told Abe Pollin, then owner of the Washington Wizards, that he should sell his team if he can't make a profit, rather than take a "hard stand" against the players. Fourteen years later, with the situation reversed, Jordan now so embodies hard-line ownership that he has become the group's public face. 

Removing Jordan from this equation, you don't have to read too far between the lines to see what's happening.

This is the ownership's response to the idea that the threat of decertification might serve as leverage to improve the owners' offer to players during Saturday's negotiating session. It produces a clear choice for the players: Take a 50/50 split, which you say that you don't want, because it will be the best offer made, period. And, please, consider the fact that there is a large, vocal minority pushing the offer back the other direction if you decide not to accept it. In other words, this information attempts to incentivize the players to cave now rather than to cave later. It appeals to any insecurity they might have about the direction of the negotiations, presents 50/50 as a reasonable alternative to the season-spiking chaos that goes along with decertification, and attempts to extinguish any hope that 52.5 percent, or even 51 percent, is a future possibility.

That Jordan has become the front man for all of this could very well end up taking some of the luster off his pristine reputation as the years pass. Or, it could get swept under the rug like many of his other transgressions. His motiviations are clear enough. the Bobcats struggle to win games, struggle to sell tickets and struggle to generate revenue. They can make a better case than most teams that the NBA's current model is broken. 

But the Bobcats' struggles will be lost in the shadow that Jordan's legend inevitably casts over everything in his vicinity. Each individual NBA player -- whether he's attended regional meetings, negotiating sessions, or not -- must now process the fact that the man many of them hold up as an idol on the court now clearly sits on the other side of the room in the current labor battle.

It's one thing to negotiate against NBA commissioner David Stern. It's quite another to know that Stern is the good guy trying to hold the greatest to ever lace them up in check. You couldn't blame NBA players if they felt deflated after reading this. Negotiating against lawyers is bad enough. Negotiating against your hero is damn near impossible. 

Hat tip: Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com