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Old 03-21-2007, 03:23 AM   #1
hotsizzle
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Default League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

Quote:
The new Jordan rules
By Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
March 20, 2007

Several NBA team executives are angry with what they call an unfair advantage that Charlotte Bobcats minority owner Michael Jordan has due to his exclusive access to future NBA prospects in his Jordan Brand All-American high school game and Flight School camps, and they want the commissioner's office to forbid his involvement.

Across the league, executives are decrying what they consider to be the new "Jordan Rules" of the NBA.


"Danny Ainge ends up seated next to Kevin Durant's mother and gets fined $30,000, but Michael goes out and plays one on one with [top high school prospect] O.J. Mayo and it is not a problem?" one Western Conference general manager grumbled.

"It's a conflict of interest."

The issue stems from Jordan's myriad roles within the basketball landscape. All at once, he's a minority owner, general manager, a retired iconoclastic player, marketing pitchman and sneaker executive.

In his role with Nike's Jordan Brand, he has operated both his annual All-American Classic – set this year for April 21 at Madison Square Garden in New York City – and summer "Flight Schools" in California and Las Vegas. The high school All-Star games bring together most of the 20 best prep players in the nation for several days. LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant are recent alumni of the game.

What's more, top high school and college prospects long have worked Jordan's Flight School as camp counselors.

In the past week, the NBA has flashed its disciplinary muscle over team officials found to be in violation of policies concerning interaction with college and high school underclass draft prospects. Ainge, the Boston Celtics' general manager, was fined $30,000 for talking with the family of Durant, now the freshman star at Texas. The league levied lesser fines to Jordan and Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson for discussing the pro potential of Durant and Ohio State freshman center Greg Oden.


Such is the seriousness with which the NBA takes interaction between its officials and college underclassmen and high school players.

But just last summer, after becoming in principle the minority owner of the Bobcats, Jordan didn't just speak of likely future NBA draft pick O.J. Mayo. He also employed the West Virginia high school star – and other top prep and college prospects – as counselors at his Flight School camps. Jordan and Mayo even played one on one.

There were no league repercussions.

In early April, the Jordan Brand All-American Classic will bring together the Class of 2007's top prep prospects – some just 14 months away from being lottery picks – for four days of practices, meals, social opportunities and the game itself.

Either Jordan, or his underlings, will have exclusive 24-hour-a-day access to the players, allowing for not just evaluation of their talents but also of practice habits, personality traits and social skills.

"I would simply like to hear how the league explains that this is not a clear advantage for M.J.," one Eastern Conference general manager said.

"As part of his approval process with the Bobcats, Michael agreed to certain limitations with regards to the Flight School and the All-American Classic to keep in compliance with NBA rules," NBA vice president for communications Tim Frank told Yahoo! Sports.

Frank would not elaborate on what the restrictions were. He also declined to answer questions about how Jordan, with his non-Bobcat employees running the events, still has access to exclusive information. One league source said that while the All-American Classic will go on, college and high school players no longer will be allowed to work as counselors at the Flight School.

Multiple calls to Nike's Jordan Brand for clarification were not returned. The Bobcats had no comment and chose not to make Jordan available for questions.

Until NBA commissioner David Stern implemented a new age minimum prior to the 2006 draft that demanded players be one year past high school graduation and 19 years old to be eligible for the draft, Jordan's enterprise hadn't come under league scrutiny. Jordan was a player, executive and part owner with the Washington Wizards from 2000 to 2003.

Under the revised rules, NBA teams are limited in opportunities to evaluate and interact with future draft prospects. No club representative can watch high school practices or games – let alone play against them as Jordan has. Out of fear that league executives can influence young prospects to leave school early, Stern has wanted to end NBA personnel's contact with prep players.

"This keeps our scouts out of high school gyms," Stern said when enacting the rule.

But Jordan continues to run his high school game. And in private practice sessions, he has an opportunity to watch elite prospects go head to head in matchups his own all-star coaches can create. For example, Jordan can measure the talent and competitiveness of top guards Mayo of Huntington, W.Va., and Derrick Rose of Chicago in the kind of closed-door workout environment that can give him insight into preferences over which point guard to chose in the 2008 draft.

That kind of evaluation is invaluable to league executives, and whether Jordan or one of his staff witnesses it, there's a widespread belief in the league that it gives the Bobcats an unmistakable edge. Other NBA teams are prohibited from attending any all-star game practices or functions and are allowed only to watch the game itself.

Then there is the off-court behavior, both good and bad, that so often can mean the difference between success and failure at the NBA level.

"If a kid gets caught smoking dope back at the hotel, Jordan is going to know about it and no one else will," one G.M. said. "He'll have a better evaluation on whether to draft that player."

While Jordan's presence at the events can vary, it can be argued that the less accessible Jordan makes himself, the more true-to-life the player's behavior actually would be. It stands to reason most players would avoid misbehaving or slacking in practice in front of perhaps the greatest player in history.

"It's not [just] about getting to evaluate their game," another G.M. said. "We all know if they can play. But it is a huge advantage to get to eat with the kids, interact with them, see their work habits in practice, find out their basketball I.Q., their maturity. That's why [many players either] succeed or fail.

"Michael can learn more about a kid in four days than I'll ever learn watching him play thirtysomething times."

High school all-star games are more than just what often is a free-flowing, low-intensity game. Players arrive early for two or three days of practices, meals and social activities. Often parents, siblings, coaches and other associates come along, too.

Jordan's Flight Schools, where adults pay to be taught by top coaches and players, also allow substantial access for Jordan and the kids over a week-long period.

Last summer's session in Santa Barbara, Calif., included Mayo and college players such as Arizona's Chase Budinger, Indiana's D.J. White, Kansas' Julian Wright and former Boston College center Sean Williams. They competed in daily counselor games, where direct competition was the norm. All but Mayo are eligible for this June's draft.

No other NBA team was allowed to watch those games at the Flight School.

"When Michael came back to the NBA, he should have dissolved any ties to anything in violation of the rules," one Western Conference executive said. "Jordan can have the coach [of the All-American game] work the player out, test his knowledge or ability to pick up NBA concepts.

"Most top players won't even have pre-draft workouts. They won't go to the [NBA draft] camp. We have so little information. Jordan has more."

What's more, there is leaguewide concern that the Bobcats are getting more of an immediate advantage in terms of the draft. They also are developing a long-term edge in future free agency.


When contract money could essentially be the same between teams, a free agent will sign where he feels most at home. Rivals contend that Jordan is able to develop a relationship with these players, families and associates at an impressionable age.

"They now have a relationship built in a social setting, at an age when they are easily influenced," one G.M. said. "No one else is allowed to build that. We would love that chance."

What do you think? Is it unfair to the rest of the league and too advantageous to Jordan/Bobcats? If so, how could this be resolved

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

Last edited by hotsizzle : 03-21-2007 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

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Originally Posted by hotsizzle
What do you think? Is it unfair to the rest of the league and too advantageous to Jordan/Bobcats? If so, how could this be resolved

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns

Clearly it is an unfair advantage for Jordan and the Bobcats. Thanks for posting. It really is an interesting matter. I really don't see how it would be fixed though. I mean, Jordan has a ton of stuff going on outside of the Bobcats, can you really bar him from taking part in his business investments? Would they go so far to monitor what kind of contact Jordan would have with these youngsters at camps and stuff like that? it'll be interesting to see how this plays out...
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

That's bullsh*t. Everybody gets to watch the actual games, and watch them in college. All Jordan gets is a couple of hours in watching them practice. Still what will matter is how they play in games in HS and college, and all teams will be able to work out with them.

This is the NBA not NCAA, there is a draft that tells the kids what team they're going to and in free agency its not about who watched them in HS, its about who has the most cap space.
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

I think the article might overblow it a bit but if in 7-8 years OJ Mayo is the best point in the league and the Bobcats and 3 other teams have the same capspace wouldnt his time spent with jordan impact things a bit? Getting to know a kid years before the comp can easily play a role.

And as it said many top prospects refuse to work out predraft so they dont have flaws exposed. While the Bobcats get to have their GM work with the kid personally what may be only 1 year before hes in the draft.

Its a tiny thing in one way....huge in another.

Tiny in that I doubt it really shakes the NBA....the Bobcats wont just dominate the league because of it. But huge in that in gives one GM a massive edge in when and how well he knows players other GMS dont have access too. THe games matter. But often practice habits, personality, and abstract things factor in.

MJ does get a head start. I dont really care. But he does.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

The Bobcats need all the help they can get. :)

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Old 03-21-2007, 06:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

He gets a slight advantage but the complaining sounds like more sour grapes than anything to me.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

It seems like a valid complaint. The advantage that the Bulls enjoy because of Jordan can come in very handy when drafting and picking among players or years later as relationships have been established since pre-NBA and could be long lasting.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

It does sounds like the Bobcats have a scouting advantage due to Jordan's unique player access. How significant is the advantage? NBA front offices are the only ones who can tell you that for sure.

The easy solution is for the league to just allow teams to scout high school players as much as they want. Level the playing field. Why is Ster so desperate to keep scouts "out of high school gyms"? There's college scouts in those gyms, what difference does it make?
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

League Execs:



since there is no written rule against what MJ is doing, and that he is self-made man who went the extra 10 miles to EARN what he has in order to enjoy his privileges, other GMs just need to put up or shut up.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

Damn right they are bunch of sissies

the NBA front office people are the lamest, softest bunch of people in any sport...
They need Stern to constantly reshape the rules to help the do their jobs properly... They whine like babies...

What good are they?

and Im not disputing that Mj may have an edge here...but the nature of these guys irks me to no end...
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

Its so obvious that he has a competitive evaluation and contact advantage...
This wont be an easy solution and it should have been resolved before he became an executive/gm for the bobcats...
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FPower
It does sounds like the Bobcats have a scouting advantage due to Jordan's unique player access. How significant is the advantage? NBA front offices are the only ones who can tell you that for sure.

The easy solution is for the league to just allow teams to scout high school players as much as they want. Level the playing field. Why is Ster so desperate to keep scouts "out of high school gyms"? There's college scouts in those gyms, what difference does it make?


This is an easy solution. Problem solved. All GMs (and their representatives) will and should have access to these players as highschoolers. I can understand having the rule in place prior to the age entry standard but now, all high schoolers have to go an extra year prior to entering the nba so why not give scouts access to them at this level? They do it in hockey. No big deals there.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

While I don't understand the rationale about all the rules limiting contact to NCAA/HS athletes...

Quote:
Ainge, the Boston Celtics' general manager, was fined $30,000 for talking with the family of Durant, now the freshman star at Texas.

Quote:
Michael goes out and plays one on one with [top high school prospect] O.J. Mayo and it is not a problem

...there should be a unified framework for all the league officials, no matter what MJ did for the league and how hard he worked. What about Lawrence Frank picking up towels and scrubbing jock straps with the only toothbrush he could afford? It's very understandable that other people in the league are upset about something they feel is extra lee-way given to Jordan, when they have to abide by very strict rules and somehow The Black Basketball Jesus doesn't.

George Karl was suspended a half dozen games a year or two ago just for watching his own son's game, wasn't he?
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

Nothing but sour grapes.

If it was such a huge advantage why did it take Mike so long to find an organization willing to let him buy in? Why did the NBA approve his buying in without forcing him to give up the game or the camp?
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: League execs not happy...(Jordan-Bobcats related)

I don't think the NBA can do anything about MJ's empire, since he earned it and created all of it before becoming a minority team owner. However, they have to address consisitency in fining owners for the contact of high school and underclassmen.
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