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November 01, 2012

Michael Jordan on owning the Charlotte Bobcats: 'I'm in it for the long haul'

Michael Jordan says he’s “in it for the long haul’’ as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, telling the Observer Thursday morning he sees the team as his family business going forward.

Some highlights from Jordan’s 23-minute interview:

--He said the franchise is open to a nickname switch should New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson follow through on changing that team’s name. Some fans want the Hornets name and logo back in Charlotte.

--He said he told the players to stop griping about new coach Mike Dunlap’s long practices, that they need the fundamental drills he’s employed: “You can’t say we don’t need that stuff. If so, we wouldn’t be going 7-59 as a team.’’

--Jordan also said he’s advised the players, “Either you’re in or you’re not going to be here.’’

--Jordan described rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a “connector,’’ comparing him to former Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen:  “He’s a very versatile guy. He’s motivated. He loves to play and play hard.’’

--He said the Bobcats “made a couple of calls’’ about shooting guard James Harden’s availability before the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Harden to the Houston Rockets this week.

--He said co-captain Gerald Henderson “gets it. He shows signs of being a leader. These are the things we’re expecting from Gerald,’’ adding he’s “pretty sure’’ Henderson will be asking for a big raise to stay here in his next contract.

 --Jordan said he still believes the Bobcats could be an attractive destination for major free agents down the road, but “I also understand we’ve got to get our house in order, to make that attractive to people.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on November 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

Comments

Nice to hear from him!!!

Posted by: Tiny Tom | Nov 1, 2012 12:37:03 PM

YES! Bring Back the Buzz!!!

Posted by: mamabuzz | Nov 1, 2012 1:15:17 PM

How does the greatest basketball player of his generationbe such a terrible owner? I've been to around 30 bobcat games and I think it's quite sad. Jordan us a terrible judge of talent. If he gets the next 3 first picks in the draft, I guarantee two will be busts.

Posted by: Blue | Nov 1, 2012 1:28:05 PM

I really don't care what the team is called. I just want to see them win (though we're still a year or two away from that). But, I think it's very telling that MJ came out and said he was open to a name change. I think a lot of people would almost be surprised if the organization didn't jump on that if (or when) New Orleans changes theirs.

Posted by: PantherDave | Nov 1, 2012 1:29:16 PM

Bringing the name Hornets back may not bring wins to the team but it will bring millions of Carolinian fans and more pride in the team. Hornets belongs in Charlotte and New Orleans deserves to have a name that represents their area as well. I have always disliked the name BOBcats because of the name being named after BOB Johnson and also because it is not a name that represents us in the Carolinas. We have a history we are proud of and do not shy away from so let the team have some pride in it. Tom Benson said just yesterday and Monday that he is fully committed to changing the name. BRING BACK THE BUZZ.

Posted by: BRING BACK THE HORNETS | Nov 1, 2012 1:38:59 PM

Fans on reading this headline quote from Jordan: "We're f*%&#d."

Posted by: Fast Freddie | Nov 1, 2012 1:43:06 PM

CHARLOTTE HORNETS!!!!!! AWESOME.
Make it happen MJ.
I can't wait to buy a brand new Charlotte Hornets Jersey of Andrew Wiggins, or Shabazz or MKG.

Rick Bonnel- I would like to thank you for following up and asking this question.

What a great day!

Posted by: Charlotte Hornets #1 | Nov 1, 2012 1:44:26 PM

Threats generally don't work in the NBA. They get their bucks regardless. Sad.

Posted by: eduardo | Nov 1, 2012 1:53:31 PM

Two thoughts:

1) "(Jordan) told the players to stop griping about new coach Mike Dunlap’s long practices, that they need the fundamental drills he’s employed."

So the players have been griping? I wonder why Bonnell and the CO have NEVER MENTIONED THIS A SINGLE TIME during training camp?

2) All you "bring back the Hornets name" people are proving exactly why the rest of the planet still thinks Charlotte is a bush-league town. Why can't you quit bawling and whining about what happened 10-15 years ago and move on? Do you hear people in Houston groaning and crying and begging to get the Oilers name back for their second football team? No. The Oilers built a proud history in Houston, has a couple very good teams that never made the Super Bowl, then when the city didn't fork over a billion dollars for a new staium, the owner pitched a fit and stomped his feet and moved to Nashville, and almost immediately renamed the team. Then Houston went about securing a new team, with a new name, and new stadium. They got them. Everybody in Houston forgot about the Oilers and got behind the Texans, who took 8 years to make their first playoff appearance. Sound familiar? It should. It's the exact same scenario we went through with our first NBA team. The difference is, they moved on and supported their new team, while we have a city full of alleged adults who keep stomping their feet and whining, "I want the old one back. WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

You are all idiots. It's not 2001 anymore. Get over it. Move on. Support the team you have.

Posted by: J | Nov 1, 2012 2:29:40 PM

Bring back the buzzzzzz! And that Houston analogy was ridiculous totally different

Posted by: Michael | Nov 1, 2012 3:15:56 PM

Get on your feet...and greet...YOUR CHARLOTTE HORRRRRNETS!!!!

Go ahead. Just try saying that without a tear coming to your eye.

Sounds great Mike, and thanks Rick!!!

Posted by: John Morgan | Nov 1, 2012 3:27:38 PM

I went to the Bobcats first playoff game and been to about a handful of games all together. When and if we finally get the Hornets name back, I'm all for it. Win or lose, I'm all for the name to return! I already wear Hornets gear even today and see it around town on an almost daily basis. I don't understand why so many people around the world still wear "Charlotte" Hornet gear, but it's great to see. I see it everywhere I go. Outstanding to hear Jordan publicly mention a possible name change. Keep it up Hornets fans...

Posted by: Freedom Huggins | Nov 1, 2012 3:31:22 PM

I would prefer they go with cougars if they're making a change. purple and teal was cool 20 years ago.

this is good news for the team though. last thing they needed was another ownership change to go with all the other changes. jordan has been bad basketball wise thus far, but seems to be improving/figuring it out. business wise, he's been pretty solid. more games on tv, more fans at the arena even with the team struggling, improved public relations and customer service. all in all, the organization outside of player personnel has improved greatly from the bob johnson era.

and i hate to be singing praises of the guy who won't get rid of rod higgins when he desperately needs to, but it could definitely be worse. we could be sacramento getting ready to lose a team so that seattle can get a team back.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 1, 2012 3:32:12 PM

J - Eat one. No one has ever cared about the Bobcats. You just sit right there behind your screen watch this town come back to life after we get our name back.

BRING IT BACK MICHAEL!

Posted by: Chris | Nov 1, 2012 3:33:57 PM

Charlotte Hornets. THAT WOULD BE GREAT. I was in high school when Mugsy, Gill, Zo, Grandmama, Curry, Gattison and company. I loved the Hornets. It would be great to have the Hornets back.

Posted by: Brian | Nov 1, 2012 3:55:06 PM

Eduardo, you're the idiot, you're comparing fans in the NFL to NBA fans, NFL stadiums fill up most of the time not matter what, so fans aren't as bad in the NFL than they are in the NBA, I guarantee if the Hornets come back, the PA announcer won't have to ask fans sitting in the nosebleeds to come and sit near the court when we are on national television because Hornets fans are everywhere! We aren't living in the past, the Hornets had good teams but never won anything and people still supported them no matter what and we want that back!

Posted by: Justin Barber | Nov 1, 2012 4:43:34 PM

HORNETS. BRING BACK THE BUZZ.

Posted by: richard | Nov 1, 2012 6:30:13 PM

It's really funny. A lot of really positive things to take from his remarks. Many of which mean much more than the potential of a name change, but the same 3 jokers come on and talk about the Hornets. This team will be nothing until they win. Nice to see him back the coach with such conviction. Can't imagine that happened with Brown.

Posted by: Skip | Nov 1, 2012 7:42:15 PM

We want OUR name and OUR colors Back!!!! CHARLOTTE HORNETS!

Posted by: Will Bowser | Nov 1, 2012 8:45:06 PM

They can be called Charlotte 'NOTHING' and still win ball games, do those things matter?

Posted by: Mike S | Nov 2, 2012 2:45:44 AM

It really doesn't matter to me, either way i'm on board.
I do feel like it will tap into some of the old school fans(the natives)and could generate more new/old fans and that would be great. The natives here are very loyal people and when the Hornets left they were upset(outside of the new arena dynamic,not getting into that), when the Bobcats came to town they(natives) couldn't have cared less. So I don't think it would hurt.
You never know with these transplants though. May be trading some for the other.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Nov 2, 2012 9:34:32 AM

Mike owns team = perennial loser.

Just a BOBcat fact of life.

Posted by: George Hanson | Nov 2, 2012 11:45:49 AM

Hornets name belongs in Charlotte. It's our heritage. Hugo has a special meaning here. This B*Cats team has never truly connected with the fan base. The Hornets were in our blood. I was there the very first season of the Hornets. It was special. A name change may not mean anything as far as number of wins, but it will ignite the fans an this team needs that. We need to be the 6th Man again. Then maybe more talented players will want to come here and play in a town where fans are supportive and fired up again.

Posted by: Bringback Thebuzz | Nov 2, 2012 12:30:04 PM

what i want to know is.....where were all the "hornets fans" the last few years in the hive? i went to all those games and 99-close waas quite the opposite of open - 1994.

they were selling bogo tickets lower level for upper level prices. and we were a playoff team too. it was a joke. and now you guys who don't attend or watch the games are crying about the name why?

this city has changed. if you have to cherish history, go cougars but hornets? that's like your ex girlfriend that left and then effed new orleans all out in public. no thanks. forward movements.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 2, 2012 10:52:56 PM

I'll take cougars or copperheads. NC all my life but please no hornets. And I go to nearly all Bobcats games plus buy gear.

Posted by: altheus | Nov 3, 2012 4:50:51 PM

Having followed and been a fan of the Hornets when they entered the league I for sure have a soft spot for the name Hornets returning to Charlotte.

As far as the fans not being as energized for the team just prior to their leaving Charlotte, it is not that hard to understand. They saw the writing on the wall. It was only a matter of time before they lost the team and they all knew it. Shinn was an idiot and the people were not all that enthused late in the teams time in Charlotte.

As far as Houston goes they agreed to give up the name Oiler's and the history to Bud Adams and Nashville in order to have a chance at getting a team in Houston again. It was either that or they would not have the Texans now.

Bud Adams than chose to rename the Oilers to the Titans while never relinquishing the name Oilers.

Now with that out of the way why does it bother some of you that if the city of New Orleans gives up the name Hornets that the city of Charlotte reclaim it? It is not like the name Hornets will be off limits to the city of Charlotte should New Orleans relinquish the name.

It would be stupid not to take the name back if it becomes available. The name has meaning for the city and the people of North Carolina so if the name inspires a lot of people why is it such an issue with some of you anti Hornets people?

I am a fan of the now Charlotte Bobcats and I will be a fan of the Charlotte team no matter the name but that does not mean I won't pull for the name Hornets to return to where it started and where it truly has meaning.

Posted by: Garret | Nov 5, 2012 12:23:13 AM

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