Tag:MIchael Jordan
Posted on: November 3, 2011 7:29 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 7:32 pm

Michael Jordan to skip golf's President's Cup

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-jordan-golf

The ongoing NBA lockout continues to cramp Michael Jordan's style.

The Greatest Basketball Player Of All Time and Charlotte Bobcats owner has decided to skip the President's Cup golf tournament in Australia because the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have yet to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Jordan was set to be an "assistant captain" for the United States team that will be competing later this month. 
Jordan, the Charlotte Bobcats majority owner, was slated to be an assistant captain for the U.S. team at Royal Melbourne in Australia from Nov. 17-20. But he announced earlier this week he is stepping down from that role, citing the lockout as his reason.

"With the NBA labor situation unsettled, as the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, I feel it is necessary that I remain in the country," Jordan said in a statement.

The President's Cup is a tournament that pits American golfers against non-American, non-European golfers at rotating venues around the globe. 

This isn't the first time that the ongoing NBA lockout has impeded Jordan's enjoyment of the links. Back in July, the NBA warned Jordan not to compete in the same foursome with current NBA players at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, lest he be subject to a fine for violating the league's gag order, which prohibits contact between team executives and players.

Is Jordan's presence in the United States absolutely necessary for his organization and the negotiations as a whole? Of course not. This is simply about appeareances. It doesn't look that great if your game's most recognizable and popular personage skips out of the country to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free, international golf outing while the rest of his fellow owners continue to glare across the boardroom at the current players, refusing to yield in their collective positions and forcing the fans to sit around on their hands waiting for the season to finally start.

That's a bad look. Jordan's presence in Australia would open up himself, his organization and his fellow owners to all sorts of criticism. Plus, it's halfway around the world and Tiger Woods isn't good at golf anymore, so who cares?

RELATED: Michael Jordan trash talked United States President Bill Clinton on the golf course
Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 6:19 pm

NBA fines Heat owner Arison $500K for tweets

Posted by Ben Gollivermicky-arison

You spoke out against the family. You threw your brothers under the bus. For that, you must pay.

Yahoo Sports reports that NBA commissioner David Stern has fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 for violating the NBA's gag order for a series of Twitter messages he posted on Friday night. The Sun-Sentinel later confirmed the report.

The messages were posted on Arison's account - @MickyArison - in the hours after labor negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketballl Players Association broke down.

Arison responded to an angry fan who blamed him for being a "greedy pig" by saying that he was "barking at the wrong owner." He also said that owners "care alot" about the NBA's fans and laughed when asked for his opinion of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 

Arison, the CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, deleted a number of messages, including the "barking" one, from his account shortly after posting them.

The Heat's owner was recently ranked No. 75 on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion. After he spent the summer of 2010 assembling a veritable dream team of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it's no wonder he might want to get the NBA's schedule started sooner rather than later.

The tweets likely drew such a hefty fine because they represented the first real public fissure in ownerships' position. By and large, the NBA's owners have issued very few comments on the state of negotiations and certainly no one had deviated from the league's message as drastically as Arison did. 

NBA legend Michael Jordan, currently the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was reportedly fined $100,000 for his comments about the lockout in September. Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn was also reportedly fined for discussing multiple players during the lockout.
Posted on: October 28, 2011 11:42 am

Jordan Crawford thinks he can be better than M.J.

Posted by Royce Young

Some young players are brash. They say things. They're confident in themselves, their game and that self-assurance is something that makes them the player and person they are.

I get that. But that doesn't mean you have a license to say silly things. Example: Jordan Crawford, via the Washington Post:

“I don’t tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan,” Crawford said, without the slightest hint of sarcasm. “When I’m done playing, I don’t want people to say, Michael Jordan is the best player. I want that to be me. That’s how I am. That’s how I was built.”

Um, what? You realize people will look at you sideways and think you’re crazy for saying that, right?

“Yeah, I know that, I definitely know that. But I’m not settling for anything less,” Crawford said. “I feel like I’m better than him, anyway. My mom is going to say I’m better than him.”

Well, in Crawford's defense, he did dunk on LeBron that one time. I don't think Michael Jordan ever did THAT.

Crawford completed his rookie season with the Wizards last season averaging 11.7 points per game in 42 appearances. Jordan's rookie season? Just 28.2 points per game with a PER of 25.8.

Obviously what Crawford said was kind of a silly thing, but I'm going to defend it as well. Because I know what he meant. The bar is set at Michael Jordan. He's the greatest ever. He's the player that you want to have your career defined alongside. So why not set your goal at the very top? What do you expect Crawford to say, "I feel like I can be better than Chris Duhon"?

Crawford's not going to be Jordan, or anything close, but that doesn't mean he can't think it. Or try to be it. That's the whole idea of being a professional athlete. You push and push and try to be the very best. You might not be, but that doesn't mean you don't try.

Still, saying "I feel like I'm better than him"? You should probably just keep that stuff to yourself. It's fine to believe it, just don't actually, you know, say it.
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 10:40 am

Even now, Michael Jordan wins

By Matt Moore

You have to understand, it was the culmination of the right player at the right time with the right approach and the right management. When Michael Jordan entered our collective consciousness, we treat it as some fairytale story, right down to the details of getting cut from his varsity team. But in reality, it was the perfect combination of factors that lead to what became the juggernaut/behemoth/gargantuan cash machine Jordan is today. And man, is he still ever one. 

From Forbes:
Yet even out of the spotlight, the business of Michael Jordan has never been better. We estimate that Jordan earned $60 million over the past year mainly through his endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports and Five Star Fragrances. He also owns five restaurants and a car dealership in North Carolina. His annual earnings are greater than any other sports figure save Tiger Woods who topped our world’s highest-paid athletes this year.

At Jordan’s peak during his playing career, he was making $50 million off the court through sponsorships. He also banked $63 million in combined salary during his last two years with the Bulls.
via The Business Of Michael Jordan Is Booming - Forbes.

Jordan makes more today, fourteen years after the Bulls' last championship, than he did from his on-court salary when he played. When you hear players talk about being underpaid? That's got to be part of their thinking. But again, Jordan was the right player at the right time. It's undeniable that Jordan was the greatest basketball player that has ever played the game. Hate stats and love winning? Six championships, thank you and goodnight. Love metrics and want an unclouded analysis? Jordan had four of the top ten PER seasons of all time, and his scoring stats are through the roof. But he also was the perfect athlete for Nike to launch his own brand under, an idea never before heard of and never since replicated adequately. 

His myth propels him forward. From Gatorade to Hanes to the newest deal with 2K Sports, Jordan doesn't just do appearances as an athlete anymore, he does endorsements and media appearances as Michael Jordan. His image, like his game, has actually transcended himself. Which is amazing, because he was the best basketball player ever as well as the most marketable athlete in history. The idea of him is just as popular as the reality was. 

And that reality? It was protected. Jordan entered into the mainstream at a time when you could push his image to millions through television, magazines, billboards, and newspapers, but the internet didn't exist. You could exert perfect control. Post-game press conferences weren't televised live on NBA TV or ESPN. Cell phones didn't exist, much less camera phones to record Jordan during his prolific partying and gambling days. And even now, the effect that the idea of Jordan had on kids who grew up worshipping him, most of whom now occupy these same media and blog spaces you're reading at this moment, has caused a certain level of protection. Jordan's not only far from perfect, he's probably a little on the far side of the likeable line, if we're really going to approach his personality. But he's protected by media, and the fans, to be sure (nobody wants Jordan revealed, torn down, desecrated like modern athletes, and media's happy to oblige), because of the image they gave him. 

Consider this, from the same Forbes article, on his popularity.
Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research produce an N-Score for celebrities that measures appeal, likability and awareness. No athlete comes close to matching MJ’s stats who has an N-Score of 682, nearly 300 points higher than any other sports figure. His 71% awareness is among the highest in sports (only Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson and Mike Tyson rank higher and not necessarily for the right reasons). His personality attributes score off the charts and he rates as being liked by 93% of people surveyed. Compare that to LeBron James who 49% of respondents say they dislike.
via The Business Of Michael Jordan Is Booming - Forbes.

Think about that. More than nine out of ten people like Michael Jordan, despite the gambling and the drinking and the mom jeans, and the Hall of Fame speech, and the fact that he beat the crap out of teammates and psychologically destroyed Kwame Brown. None of this can even touch him. Because he entered our consciousness at the perfect moment, was weilded by those who market to the fullest degree, and managed to duck anything which could forever scar him. No Tiger Woods car wreck incidents to kick off a fervor, and the media/papparazzi didn't hound then like it does now. There's not the ability for a poorly worded comment in a post-game presser to speed through Twitter instantly and become a story the next day. 

Among the hundreds of reasons why the LeBron James-Michael Jordan comparisons are pointless (they play different positions with different skillsets; Jordan, accurately or not, is perceived as a winner in retrospect despite not having won a championship when he was James' age; no one is ever going to cede that title to Kobe or anyone else because of the aforementioned deification complex we have as a society with Jordan, he's our sacred cow we continue to milk; and, oh, yeah, Jordan really was a better player) lies this:  James' personality could never have been Jordan's. Not because LeBron is arrogant. Come on, take one look at everything you know about Jordan and tell me he's humble. But because James operates in a cultural sphere that is faster, more ubiquitious, more diverse than ever. And worse than that, James is aware of the scope of who's listening to and watching him. That self-awareness drives both his arrogance and his anxiety about being popular. In the presser after Game 6 when LeBron spoke the famous lines everyone hates him for about people and their lives (which came off as "you little people"-ish), he had just gotten through saying "I failed." That's what we all needed to hear. But James keeps talking, trying to get people to like him.

Jordan never cared if you liked him as long as you worshipped him. Particularly with your wallet.

When James was named the top player by three different media entities, most recently by ESPN, the ruckus was enough to wake a coma patient. Several writers actually cashed in on criticizing the entities for saying that, and parlayed themselves as writers of the people. Unfortunately, if you actually spend your nights watching each game, if you devote the time these experts have taken to knowing and understanding the game every night, if you're not just chasing the top headlines and scribbling your thoughts based on a SportsCenter highlight package or a handful of games, you don't come to any other conclusion. It doesn't erase James' failings in the fourth quarter in the Finals or the absurd idiocy of "The Decision," nor does it make him likeable. He's not. But it does make him the best basketball player currently playing the game.

Not only will James never be Jordan, even if his career follows a similar career arc, with the winning after age 26 and the multiple titles and all, but James will always be the polar opposite of Jordan. Jordan was born into the perfect environment for society to deify him, to raise him up, and he was the perfect player to do that with. The jumper, the dunk, the tongue wag, the shrug, the fist pump, the political savvy to understand the importance of not being involved politically, the smile. He was the right player at the right time, in the right way, and it continues to pay off for Jordan. LeBron? LeBron will make some of the money. He'll get some of the glory. But he won't ever be that. 

Wrong guy, wrong time, wrong place.

The era of deification is over, even if we're all still paying our tithe at the Temple of MJ.

(HT: TrueHoopNetwork for a discussion of Jordan v. Internet 2011 through email.) 
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 10:23 am

The life of Jordan's kids

By Matt Moore

Michael Jordan's kids are starting their own website showing what it's like to be the sons of the GOAT. Usually this woud seem like a desperate plea for attention and money, but the thing is, it's actually a pretty interesting question. That's how much interest Jordan drives, especially considering the sometimes icy family life Jordan has seldom revealed in public. 

A trailer has been released for the site, talking about all the things the Jordan kids get asked about, like shoes, shadows, "Space Jam" and.... shoes. There's a lot of shoes talk.

Check it out.


(HT: SLAM via PBT)
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 17, 2011 6:37 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 6:39 pm

Michael Jordan trash talked Bill Clinton at golf

Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-jordan-bill-clinton

Michael Jordan would have been the greatest battle rapper of all time. 

The key to his success would have been his unflinching ability to rip anyone at any time. Look no further than his memorable Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame speech, when he picked apart just about everyone with ruthless one-liners and vicious taunts. Jordan has punched a teammate and insulted his own No. 1 draft pick, so we already knew that there were no limits. But it's still delightful to read that he's not afraid to knock a commander-in-chief on the golf course.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Jordan called out former President of the United States Bill Clinton during a round.
Clinton loves playing golf with athletes whenever he can. He's played with Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Michael Jordan, among others. Jordan coaxed him from the white tees to the championship tees by saying, "You're going to play from the little girls' tee?" Jordan's challenge was for Clinton to break 100; he did.
Of course, facing the need to live up to Jordan's expectations, the former leader of the free world couldn't cave. Clinton had to accept the challenge. Surely Jordan entertained -- or psyched out -- Clinton with running dialogue for 18 holes as a result. 

Jordan's trash talking ability is matched only by his immense competitive desire and love for gambling, and golf has provided a number of classic Jordan tales. Barely a month goes by without Jordan getting mixed up in one story or another on the links. 

Back in July, Jordan won a bet with a fan during a round of golf in Lake Tahoe. He also challenged Tiger Woods to step his game up, saying that Woods has been "fragile mentally" and that he "needs to get healthy." Heck, Jordan's golf bag is specifically designed to talk trash for him, with images of his six championship rings on it to remind you that he's modern basketball's greatest champion in case you somehow forgot.

The obvious next question here: Did the power pairing place any bets? Jordan does love a good cigar, after all, although I'm not sure you make that bet with Clinton, given his history.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com
Posted on: October 5, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 7:47 pm

Pippen: LeBron will have better stats than Jordan

Posted by Ben Golliver


On the court, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was relentless, a menace in the open court and as effective an on-ball defender as you'll ever see. In retirement, there's still no quit in Pippen.

More than six months after Pippen put his foot in his mouth by saying that Miami Heat forward LeBron James "may be the greatest player to ever play the game" and roughly four months after he backtracked, saying that his Bulls teammate, Michael Jordan, was actually the greatest, Pippen continues to waffle in his comparison.

MySharoni.com reports that Pippen is now parsing the comparison in a new manner, arguing that Jordan is the greatest of all time but that James will wind up with better numbers when it's all said and done. 
“My position is still the same,” Pippen stated. “You’re talking about a very young kid who came to the game at a very young age. Statistically, he will probably be the best player at the end of the day…based on the number of years he can get in, [he’s a] super athlete, very versatile in a lot of ways.”

Pippen added, “My comment was not meant to belittle the greatest player in the game—he has truly made his mark with his style, with his charisma, with his brand—but from a statistical standpoint, I think [LeBron] has great [potential] to be recognized as the best.”
First off, is there any way we can lock out Scottie Pippen's mouth indefinitely? 

Second: After a massive initial blunder, Pippen is finally, mercifully, correct in his assessment, at least the part about James finishing with better career numbers than Jordan. Jordan is, without question, the greatest basketball player of all time and so significantly better than James that the two don't belong in the same sentence at this stage of James' career. The only current player close to matching Jordan is Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and, even then, Jordan wins out with ease.

But James has the opportunity -- and has shown the capability -- to smash Jordan's statistical marks. Here's a side-by-side comparison to help tell the story. James already has 17,362 career points, 3,000+ more than Jordan had at the same age. He has 1,700+ more rebounds and 1,700+ assists too. Keep in mind that Jordan was 26, James' current age, before he took off the better part of two seasons in the prime of his career to play professional baseball. In other words, James has roughly a two-season head start on Jordan thanks to the fact that he entered the NBA straight out of high school (James entered at age 19, Jordan at age 21), he gained an extra year thanks to an early career foot injury that sidelined Jordan for almost all of the 1985-1986 season, and he will gain even more extra ground by the time he turns 32, when, barring injury, he will have had the opportunity to play in another 130 or so games more than Jordan did by the same age because of the baseball foray. Those 130 extra games go on top of the 200 extra games that James has already accumulated. That's at least an extra four seasons of production; that's a huge chunk considering that Jordan's career spanned just 13 full seasons plus portions of two others.

The only thing stopping James from passing Jordan is how long he can remain productive and, even then, it would take a catastrophe for that to get in the way. Jordan had big statistical output through the age of 34, and then emerged from retirement to play two additional seasons with the Washington Wizards that really amounted to 1.25 seasons or so of peak production combined. In other words, James needs only to last through the age of 36 -- 10 more seasons -- to ensure that he effectively lasts as long as Jordan did.

Because of his head start, James really only needs to last another six or seven seasons to pass Jordan in all of the major statistical categories. Indeed, he's already 54 percent of the way to catching Jordan in points, 67 percent of the way to catching Jordan in rebounds and 77 percent of the way to catching Jordan in assists.

Of course, in the most critical number of all -- the number of championship rings -- James is zero percent of the way to matching Jordan. And all of us, even Pippen, should realize that fact will always separate Jordan and James in the "greatest of all time" debate. Unless James can win seven titles, of course.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 6:44 pm

LeBron James, Miami Heat need full NBA season

Posted by Ben Golliver


The first title has to be clean.

When you’re playing with an eye towards history and your expressed purpose is to serve as the NBA’s next great dynasty, the first championship won’t be compared to just any old title. 

No, it will be judged against the first titles won by previous legends and it will have to stack up on some key criteria. The title must come against top competition. The title must be secured with the franchise player leaving his stamp on the key moments. And, most importantly, there can’t be any loopholes or asterisks. If prospective basketball Kings eye immortality, those criteria are nonnegotiable.

The greatest to ever do it, Michael Jordan, won MVP all six times he went to the NBA Finals. Along the way, he knocked off an entire generation of stars: Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the list goes on. In securing his first title, Jordan knocked off the defending champion Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and sent home arguably the greatest player of the 1980s, Magic Johnson, in the Finals. Jordan averaged an astonishing 31.2 points, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 1.4 blocks and shot 55.8 percent from the field in the five-game romp over the Lakers.

That’s clean. Just try to pick nits over that. The fact that the Pistons stomped off the court in defeat and Johnson graciously passed the torch only adds to the legend. That's clean.

Johnson’s own story is nearly as strong. As a rookie, he won Finals MVP for leading the Lakers past a loaded Philadelphia 76ers team with center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sidelined with an ankle injury. Just 20-years-old, he famously played all five positions in the deciding game, putting up 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, and secured the title on the road, sending Hall of Famer Julius Erving and company home empty-handed. Pretty damn clean.

Rookie Bill Russell grabbing 32 rebounds in Game 7 of the 1957 Finals for the Boston Celtics to defeat the St. Louis Hawks, led by Hall of Famer Bob Pettit. Clean. In 1981, Larry Bird nearly averaged a triple-double -- 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and seven assists per game -- and memorably rebounded and reloaded his own miss in mid-air for one of basketball’s greatest highlights in defeating the Houston Rockets, led by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Clean.

For immortality, that’s the standard. Sure, it’s nearly impossible to match, but if we’re talking about “not one, not two, not three, not four” levels of greatness, that’s what you’re up against. The performance must be unimpeachable.

With the notable exceptions of guard Dwyane Wade, forward Udonis Haslem and president Pat Riley, 2011-2012 is shaping up to be the first title for all the key members of the Miami Heat. LeBron James. Chris Bosh. Head coach Erik Spoelstra. Whichever cadaver is brought in to play center. And, really, if we wind up talking about a Heat dynasty 20 years from now, 2006 won’t be mentioned, except with regard to Wade. All that will truly matter is how many rings get stacked up over the next 6-to-8 years.

That’s especially true for James, who has the best shot at joining basketball's all-timers. The last thing that James needs at this juncture, then, is an asterisk. And a shortened season is about as big as asterisks come.

Nothing says impeachable quite like winning a title in one of only two seasons in the past forty that were played with less than 82 games. Nothing says loophole like jogging through a 50-game spread against opponents in varying degrees of condition and then suiting up for a playoffs that very well could include a bunch of teams that shouldn't be there. All six of Jordan’s titles came in 82-game seasons; all five of Johnson’s titles came in 82-game seasons; all three of Bird’s titles came in 82-game seasons. If James wants to climb that mountain, and he should, he's being handed a tough trail.

James, already with more detractors than he can handle, will be damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t if a single NBA game is canceled, as is expected to be announced later this week. James was already held to a higher standard than your typical NBA superstar, but, title-less at age 26 and coming off of back-to-back summers in which he alienated vast swaths of basketball fans with the “Decision” and then dramatically collapsed in the 2011 NBA Finals, pressure and expectations have only mounted. To win a title in any way except in pristine conditions and through overwhelming statistical production will not suffice. “Yeah, he won, but it was a lockout,” critics will say. “MJ never needed a short season to win a championship.”

The expectations James feels are mirrored by those facing his organization. After the preseason parade, the “teaming up,” the “taking their talents to South Beach,” and the instant success reflected by a Finals run in their first year together, Miami badly needs revenge and redemption. But neither revenge nor redemption will taste sweet if everyone is harping that it “doesn’t count” because of the work stoppage.

If James and the Heat do take home their first title in June, it won’t be enough. Their only hope is to keep winning, a lot, stacking up enough jewelry so that the "lockout title" is no longer worth mentioning. Until that happens, “sure, he won three (or four, or five) titles, but…” will follow them like a pox.  Because the doubts don’t stop at multiple rings. Just ask Olajuwon, who won two in the 1990s. “But Jordan was playing baseball.” The doubts don’t even stop at five. Just ask guard Kobe Bryant. “But it was Shaquille O’Neal’s team for the first three.” Paradoxically, then, winning this season could serve to increase expectations for the Heat rather than satiate them. Winning to prove that winning wasn't a fluke is a vicious cycle.

The Heat and their fans will likely respond to this line of argumentation by saying that they don’t care about what outsiders think. That history can only be written one season at a time and that it would be better to win a title and get the monkey off the bag. That’s the right approach. But, deep down, they want their first title of the modern era to be indisputable more than anyone else. They've been through the fire, they've suffered through the media circus, they've absorbed all the criticism. James surely wants to bathe in champagne like a care-free child knowing that he put decades of doubt to bed once and for all.

And, surely, as a student of the game, he knows that’s impossible in a shortened season. If one game is lost, it might as well be all 82 for Miami. Labor negotiations are a dirty game, and a corrupted 2012 NBA title could never be clean.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com