Michael Jordan’s influence and power via ownership is unprecedented in the NBA
Since the legendary basketball player took over the Charlotte Bobcats back in 2010, his power has grown from an ownership standpoint. Even though Michael Jordan has struggled over time to build a contender in Charlotte, the power he yields as a former player and now owner is palpable.
Jordan commands the ultimate respect from current players as well as former players that witnessed his greatness during his era. Considered by most to be the greatest player to ever play the game, Jordan has a unique position in the league. He is the only former player to own a current franchise in the national basketball association.
Consequently, Jordan operates as a bridge of understanding between players and owners, especially when collective bargaining deals are being made. Owners respect his business acumen and players know that he can relate to their needs and viewpoints. Seeing as how Jordan was on the other side of that table during the 90’s when he was a fiery player that demanded changes be made during CBA negotiations.
(NBA.com): James Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers commented,”He understands the passion that players have. He understands that language and he’s able to digest it and relay it to the owners. And he’s also able to relay the owner’s sentiments and viewpoints.”
Evidently, NBA owners and the players union spoke in favor of Jordan’s involvement in the process. Adding that he helped create smooth negotiations this past year when both sides met. The meetings ended in fruition with an agreement in place without the usual threat of stoppage during the season and parties unwilling to compromise. Michael can be credited for this improved understanding between owners and players.
The latest situation that unfolded in Madison Square Garden, where former New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley was accosted and taken out of the arena for allegedly spewing profanity at Knicks owner Bob Dolan. After the debacle and subsequent involvement of law enforcement, Oakley was charged and banned from Madison Square Garden shortly afterward by Dolan. The league had a PR nightmare on the table and Commissioner Adam Silver diligently worked to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.
Once again Michael Jordan was called in to help, Oakley and Jordan are long time friends and former teammates in Chicago. The two have a strong bond and Jordan was brought in by phone while the Commissioner and Bob Dolan sat with Oakley. His “Airness” defused some of the tension and certainly helped Oakley reach an understanding with the embattled Knicks owner.
The world-renowned icon is still attempting to change life in Charlotte when it comes to basketball. The Bobcats are still a .500 team and are a long way from contending in the playoffs, but Jordan’s competitive nature is unrelenting and will likely be adamant in proving that his Bobcats can become a contender. While Jordan is not working in basketball operations he is putting out fires around the NBA and continuing to bridge the gap between league ownership and players when it matters the most.