|Jordan is not the Greatest Owner of All Time. (Getty Images)|
Michael Jordan was great at playing basketball. In managing and owning where he starts to fall off a cliff. His Charlotte team was recently ranked 122nd in this list. Tom Ziller of SBNation.com awarded him "Worst Owner: Actually A Bad Owner" designation in a column Monday. His resume in terms of decision making features Adam Morrison, Kwame Brown, among others. So when he became the majority owner, people worried that things might end, you know, like this.
But ESPN the Mag reports that things may be changing in how Jordan approaches running the team.
"Obviously, I'm a competitor," Jordan said this summer when asked about the Bobcats' 7-59 season. "I never want to be in the record books for failure."
But he is. And what's more, to get off this already unlikely path, there comes word that Jordan has taken the most unexpected turn of all during the past year: In order to win basketball games, Michael Jordan has removed himself from the equation. He's promised his front office staff that he'll let them do their jobs without his shadow looming over their war-room marker boards. More unlikely still, he's handed over the reins of the Bobcats to a next-generation GM, armed with high-level metrics, to do for Charlotte what he helped do for Oklahoma City -- and in doing so, salvage Jordan's flagging basketball reputation.
Michael Jordan, whose claim to ownership stems almost solely from his inability to admit defeat as a player, has, if only by his actions, admitted defeat as president. The dinosaur is making himself extinct.
via Michael Jordan's ultimate NBA failure as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats - ESPN The Magazine - ESPN.
Jordan turning over the reins is crucial. Cho did well in his only season in Portland. The immediate change in the process, including more money spent on scouting and evaluation tools, is crucial. You're not going to make a huge change immediately. It must be a long-term process, which means Cho must be afforded time, the most valuable commodity of all. But it helps that Jordan himself is the one admitting prior mistakes and moving towards a better approach. That should help Cho in what he needs.
Maybe the biggest problem, which the article touches on, is that Jordan has always tried to do it his way, because that's what worked in the NBA. He made adjustments through the years for Phil Jackson and teammates. But he largely did what he wanted because he was Michael Jordan. Management takes quite a bit more science, quite a bit more compromise, quite a bit more delicate approach.
The new model should help the Bobcats stabilize and bring them some long-term success. Lord knows the Bobcats fans who are left have earned it.