Jordan: Bobcats can be destination franchise

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


NBA legend Michael Jordan said he thinks the team he owns, the Charlotte Bobcats, can be a destination franchise for free agents despite the fact they had the NBA's worst record last season.
However, Jordan said in wide-ranging interview Thursday with the Charlotte Observer that he has to make changes.
"I also understand we've got to get our house in order, to make that attractive to people," he said.
The Bobcats went 7-59 last season, finishing with the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history after the strike-shortened season.
As the Bobcats open their season at home Friday against the Indiana Pacers, Jordan said he was "in it for the long haul" as the Bobcats owner.
"Are we a playoff team? C'mon, we can't expect that," Jordan said. "But we need to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I'm not real happy about the record book scenario last year. It's very, very frustrating."
In order to turn the season around, Jordan said he tried to obtain James Harden, who was traded Saturday to the Houston Rockets by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He also said he would be interested in changing the franchise's nickname back to the Hornets if the New Orleans franchise changes its nickname as expected.
"It's definitely an interest down the road. But right now it's still the New Orleans Hornets. We're really not at liberty to discuss something owned by someone else," Jordan said. "We've heard the community ask the question, and we would listen."
But he wants to focus on the team. Already he has backed new coach Mike Dunlap, whose practices have been criticized by the players.
"You can't sit here and look yourself in the mirror and say we don't need this stuff," Jordan said. "If that was the case, we shouldn't have been a 7-59 team.
"So in essence when you're a 7-59 team, you go back to the basics, you go back to try and figure out a way, OK, we need to do this thing the right way. Either you buy in or you're not a part of this whole process."
He said he's not expecting the team to make the playoffs this season, but he is expecting improvement from 7-59.
"I want to see us getting better each and every day. If you want to put it in numbers, in terms of how many games we can win, I can't say that. I'm not playing.
"If I was playing, I could tell you what we could do. But in essence, I've got to live vicariously through my team and my coaching staff."