Michael Jordan’s New Game

19 04 2010

Michael Jordan is back to dominate the game of basketball — but from his seat, not the court.

Jordan is walking in with a few bouts of practice that have done more than add to his experience as team owner — they also racked up a record less than worthy of the Jordan brand.

http://obsessedwithsports.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/michael-jordan-bobcats.jpg

In February 2010, Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (Image via ObsessedWithSports.com)

But it looks like things could be turning around.  With his side-line experiences and an unparalleled drive to succeed, Michael Jordan may be able to take his newly acquired Bobcats and transform them into a championship team.

With a $275 million check, Jordan proved his commitment to do just that.  But he has yet to prove his success.

The Jonathan Abrams at the New York Times recently examined Jordan’s business history leading up to his new role as lead Bobcat.  Here are the points you need to know:

  • Jordan was a minority owner of the Washington Wizards until he decided to come out of retirement in 2001 and play for the team.
  • After two losing seasons marred by the drafting of Kwame Brown with the number one overall pick, Jordan was dismissed from his position as the head of the Wizards’ basketball operations by owner Abe Pollin.
  • Jordan then made a play to acquire the Milwaukee Bucks, but owner and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl decided not to sell.
  • In 2006, Jordan officially joined the Bobcats franchise.  Owner Robert L. Johnson brought him in as a minority owner and managing member of basketball operations.  “You can only play so much golf,” Johnson explained.
  • Jordan’s first move in this role was drafting Adam Morrison with the third pick.  Morrison proved to be another bad selection by Jordan, and was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Prior to the 2008-2009 season, Jordan did make one good pick, hiring Hall of Famer Larry Brown as head coach.
  • In March Michael Jordan purchased the Charlotte Bobcats for $275 million, becoming the first former NBA player to become a majority owner of an NBA team.

Though far from perfect, the Bobcats seem to be headed toward success.  The team is in its first playoff series ever, and attendance is up more than 10% from last season — the largest attendance jump in NBA history.  And 30 sponsors have jumped on board with the Bobcats in the past eight months.

Jordan is the ultimate basketball legend and the king of branding. If he can successfully merge the two, he will not only have a successful business on his hands, but a few more rings, too.

**Michael Jordan has his own NBA challenges, so here’s one for you.  Head over to Mental Floss, and see if you can name all 30 NBA teams in 5 minutes. It’s a little tougher than you may think.

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