We’re probably the daft ones for even bothering to address something as lame as this, but in the midst of their Charlotte Bobcats team preview, Grantland’s Jalen Rose predicted that Bobcats team owner Michael Jordan would un-retire for one game during the 2013-14 season, in speaking to a gobsmacked Bill Simmons. All of this in spite of the rule that forbids team owners from working as active players.
We’re guessing Rose isn’t exactly familiar with the ins and outs of the Bobcats rotation, and is reaching to fill time, and we’re sorry Bill (being a pretty good teammate, here) had to go along with this. Watch:
Simmons, who is a little more up to date than Rose on some of the technical aspects of the whole “owners aren’t allowed to play”-rule, does do the smart “yes, and”-move and mentions that the league would waive the rule in order to let Jordan compete for a one-off, but this is ridiculous. Not even the wildest of idiotic conspiracy theorists (though I’m sure the comments below will prove me wrong) would think that the NBA would toss a decades-old rule like that just for a cynical one-off to sell more sneakers.
You’ll recall that Magic Johnson quickly had to sell his shares of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 when he wanted to return to the court (Johnson later bought them back after retiring again), but if memory serves his cut of the team was far less than the 4.5 percent he recently sold off. Jordan bought the Bobcats for $175 million in 2010, a low-ish number mainly because part of the package had MJ assuming all of former owner Robert Johnson’s many basketball-related debts. The team was recently valued at over $300 million, and no prospective owner is going to step up to pay that much and want to keep the team in Charlotte. The only prospective owners out there would want the squad packing its bags for Seattle almost immediately.
Jordan hasn’t played in over a decade, and even though his Washington Wizards were routinely nationally televised during his embarrassing and destructive (to both his legacy, and the Wizards) 2001-03 comeback, they weren’t exactly setting ratings records. Jordan was a solid enough player back then, but in the grand scheme he was a floor-bound low-efficiency chucker, full of pump fakes and long two-pointers.
And that was a decade ago. Many cigars and bottles of wine ago.
The recent wave of MJ nostalgia and hypothetical pairings is nice, and Jordan isn’t doing himself any favors by fanning the flames, but this is ridiculous. Let the man continue to be a very bad (the Bobcats are on their sixth coach in seven years, paying Al Jefferson huge money to hopefully win 32 games) executive and owner, and somehow find a way to analyze the Charlotte Bobcats in a way that doesn’t have to be buttressed by pointless chat show nonsense.