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Jordan says "No" to Bobcats
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Old 05 Sep 2003, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Jordan says "No" to Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan doesn't want to be one of Bob's Cats.

Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert Johnson officially ended his summer-long courtship of Jordan on Friday, clearing the way for Ed Tapscott to begin building the NBA's newest expansion team.

"The possibility of having the greatest icon in the history of the game as a member of our organization was one that we pursued to its fullest," Johnson said Friday. "But Michael ultimately decided that his goal is to be a majority owner of an NBA franchise, and we wish him the best in that pursuit."

Jordan couldn't do that in Charlotte, where Johnson had promised him any role he wanted -- except majority owner.

After all, Johnson, the billionaire founder of BET, paid $300 million for that right late last year and has already placed his own stamp on the team -- naming it after himself and allowing his teenage son to pick orange as the dominant team color.

Jordan tried to buy a majority interest in the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this summer, but Sen. Herb Kohl decided not to sell.

The Bobcats, who begin play in 2004-05, then patiently waited for Jordan's next move. Johnson eventually decided he needed an answer by early September or risk the team falling too far behind in development.

Now that there's a resolution, Tapscott, Johnson's first hire, will begin interviewing general manager candidates.

"Bob has greenlighted me and the rest of the staff to start building the organization," Tapscott said. "We have an aggressive but reasonable time frame and would like to have a general manager in place within the next month to six weeks."

Under rules already set by the NBA Board of Governors, the Bobcats will pick fourth in the 2004 draft but will be eligible for the first overall pick in 2005. When the Raptors and Grizzlies entered the league in 1995, they were ineligible for the No. 1 overall pick in their first three seasons.


The Bobcats' payroll will be limited to two-thirds of the salary cap in 2004-05 and three-quarters of the cap in '05-06. When the Bobcats select their initial roster in an expansion draft, the other 29 NBA teams will each be allowed to protect eight players.

The ending of the Jordan saga was good news to at least one minority investor.

"I personally don't think Michael would have added much to the organization other than helping ticket sales," said investor Felix Sabates. "Ed has worked very hard to establish himself in this community and deserves the chance to run this team.

"Michael would have tried to run it from Chicago and that just doesn't fly in this community. You have to live here to have an impact on Charlotte."

Johnson began courting Jordan the minute the Washington Wizards parted ways with him in early May, offering him any job he wanted.

Although Jordan made it clear he wanted to own his own team, the Bobcats believe he was sincere in his discussions with Johnson.

"I think he is good friends with Bob, this is his home state and he was intrigued by having a clean canvass to build an operation," Tapscott said. "But ultimately he decided to pursue his ownership dream and we applaud Michael for staying true to his heart.

"Now that he has come to his decision, it permits us to move in our own direction."

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Old 05 Sep 2003, 08:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I didn't think michael would do it anyways..
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Old 07 Sep 2003, 04:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Micheal need to just chill out for a few year's, get his name out of the spot light and then persue his dream of being magority owner of a NBA team
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