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Old 10-23-2006, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Jordan determined to stay in the background

AP ticker
LONDON (Ticker) - Any Charlotte Bobcats fans expecting to see much of their latest investor Michael Jordan this season should think again.

It's not that the legendary Jordan won't be involved, but he'll be doing it from a distance.

Jordan purchased a share in the franchise - which is set to start its third season - from majority owner Bob Johnson earlier this summer, but has decided to remain in the background over his concerns that he would overshadow the whole organization if he was more visible.


The future Hall of Famer does not want the Bobcats to become an extension of the Jordan brand, but if the relationship can work the other way, all the better.

"What's being asked of me is to help build a team," said Jordan, who is in London as part of a nine-day European tour. "Any time my being around the city or having dinners, any time that's going to help, I'm not afraid of that, but people want to see the product - what's being played on the basketball court. That's not me.

"I'm a part of it because I'm invested but don't get involved because you expect to see me on the basketball court."

Instead, Jordan plans to be only an occasional visitor in North Carolina, spending most of his time working over the phone from his home in Chicago.

"It's not a day-to-day responsibility," he said of his role. "It's more about overseeing that the people in place make sound business decisions and sound basketball decisions.

"I understand that portion of the business and I'm just going to lend my help to that. Even though I'm invested financially, I'm also an overseer of what's going on, making sure that from an investor standpoint it's being done properly."

Jordan's stance comes with the benefit of experience collected from his time with the Washington Wizards, where there was a sense his name was exploited.

Although his time in the nation's capital did not end in success, Jordan insists it was a positive experience.

"I thought it was a great experience," he said. "We didn't win a championship and they chose to go in a different direction ... but when I first got there they were in a hole. When I left they were not.

"I also understood what was asked of a business, and some of the choices you have to make from a business standpoint. I think that's going to aid my overlooking what's happening in Charlotte."

A test of Jordan's influence in Charlotte is expected to come next summer when the team will have anywhere between $20-25 million in salary cap space.

Johnson's reputation suggests he will be reluctant to spend it, but Jordan's desire to make the team competitive quickly may override that.

Not that Jordan plans to blow it unnecessarily.

"I think we're going to look at all facets of it," he said. "I don't think we can think about what we're going to do next year until we have a full understanding and a full vision of what we have this year.

"We've got young players who are developing, so it's about looking at the team, seeing what you need and what you may not need."

The Bobcats are just part of a busy schedule for Jordan which has seen him transformed from the greatest basketball player of all time into a leading sports businessman.

His Jordan brand of sporting goods continues to thrive, and he has recently signed up to be part of Chicago's bid to land the 2016 Olympics.

Although he is enjoying his new life, whenever October comes around and the preseason is in full swing, Jordan admits he longs for the days when he was part of it on the court.

"You get an itch, but it's not big enough to scratch," he said. "Now I live vicariously through other situations - through the Bobcats, through my kids - just the game of basketball. I love watching it. I know deep down my mind still feels like I can play, but physically it's not the same."

But Jordan sees plenty of parallels between what he does now and what he did as a player.

"There's not much of a difference," he said. "You have a vision in terms of what you're trying to achieve and you put forward the work to make sure you achieve that.

"It's not a lot of different to what I did on the basketball court. I have a lot of involvement in this, I have a lot of passion for this and that's why I've come to Europe because we want to continue to grow the brand globally."
It's a pretty long article but the main jist of it is that Jordan has the same idea as Bernie. It's all about what goes on on the court. Let they guys play basketball. When MJ was in Washington, it was all about him even though IMO I don't think he wanted it to be that way. This time he's staying back and working from another area. I think this is a good move, keeps the focus on basketball, not on PR
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:19 PM   #2
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He's just doing this so that people don't write nasty things about him. He's scared that a guy will write a book about it like they did when he was in Washington. He was showing up at a limited amount of games in Washington and needed all kinds of time for his promotions and free time. What is the deal?
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:26 PM   #3
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The deal is that he wants to be just an investor and be treated like one. He wants to know how everything is doing and any decisions to be run by him. It's because he has all his tours and promo's and stuff is what he wants to primarily focus on. He wants to do his business from where he's comfortable like a normal investor.
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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As long as Jordan can "convince" Robert Johnson to come up with the money for players that Bickerstaff wants, then Jordan could just as well live 15,000 miles from here.
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