On Grantland's NBA preview videos, Jalen Rose made the prediction that Michael Jordan will play in one game this year.
So that's obviously an exciting idea, even with Jordan at 50. It's still the greatest of all time, who has maintained that he can still play, because honestly, his competitive nature is wired in all sorts of terrifying ways.
Could Jordan play in today's NBA? He practiced with the team he owns last year. Gerald Henderson said the former Bull could still score. He's stiff, but lots of shooters are. It's possible. Could this actually happen?
No. Not at all. Not even a little. From Grantland.com:
According to Article XXIX, Section 8, of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, entitled "Limitation on Player Ownership":
During the term of this Agreement, no NBA player may acquire or hold a direct or indirect interest in the ownership of any NBA Team; provided, however, that any player may own shares of any publicly-traded company that directly or indirectly owns an NBA Team.
Jordan's current situation as the majority owner and chairman of the Bobcats prohibits him from suiting up as an NBA player. However, the latter clause in the article offers a glimmer of hope. If Jordan forms a publicly traded company and puts his Bobcats shares into this company, he could then become the player-owner we never knew was possible. Easy, right?
Of course not. In a 2011 Sports Illustrated article about the possibility of Jordan's return (it happens every single year), sports law professor Michael McCann broke down just how much of a pain in the ass it would be:
While that type of transaction is possible, it is also complicated and would require, among other steps, registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an initial public offering and NBA approval of the Bobcats' new ownership structure.
Jordan could avoid these complexities by selling his equity stake in the Bobcats, but a sale would require league approval and would take months, if not longer, to finalize. NBA teams also don't come up for sale very often. Jordan would have to really want to return to the court before selling the Bobcats, because it's not clear when he would have another shot at buying an NBA team.
Seems like an ungodly amount of time and paperwork for what is essentially a regulation-court-size scratching post for Jordan's competitive itch. But if there's anyone insane enough to try, it's Mike.
So, no. The answer is no. This is not happening. But it's fun to think about, if you're a fan of 50-year-olds playing in the NBA as some sort of freak show.