Michael Jordan's basketball wizardry has yet to translate to the front office in his second tour as an NBA executive.
Following the unsatisfying end to his tenure as player/president of the Washington Wizards, Jordan bought into the Charlotte Bobcats in June 2006 and was assigned the role of managing partner.
He began surrounding himself with familiar faces. Former Bulls teammate and close friend Rod Higgins is the team's general manager. Larry Brown, with whom Jordan shares a North Carolina pedigree, is the Bobcats' coach. Assistants Phil Ford and Dave Hanners are also former Tar Heels, as is point guard Raymond Felton, a restricted free agent.
But Carolina loyalty hasn't colored all of Jordan's basketball decisions. Shooting guard Gerald Henderson, from archrival Duke, was the Bobcats' first-round pick in the June NBA draft.
Launched as an expansion team in 2004-05, the Bobcats have yet to make the playoffs and have battled the state's well-established college programs for fan support. Last season's 35-47 record was the best in the five-year history of the franchise.
But Jordan, Higgins and Brown continue to tinker with the roster. In July they dealt center Emeka Okafor, No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft, to the New Orleans Hornets for former Bull Tyson Chandler. In March they traded Adam Morrison, Jordan's first draft pick and the No. 3 overall pick in 2006, to the Lakers for Vladimir Radmanovic. And before last season they sent leading scorer Jason Richardson to Phoenix for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell.
Jordan might not be with the Bobcats for the long term.
Majority owner Robert Johnson paid $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2004. Forbes magazine valued it at $274 million last year, and Johnson has expressed a desire to sell.
A group Jordan heads evidently failed to meet Johnson's asking price over the summer, and at least one other potential buyer has entered the bidding. Whether new ownership would retain Jordan in a management role is unknown.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun