Sunday, February 7, 2010

News broke a few days ago that Michael Jordan has until the end of this month to get together the funds to buy the Charlotte Bobcats. It's been known for almost a year that majority owner Bob Johnson, who owns a little more than 70 percent of the team, has been trying to sell it. And for the past few months, George Postolos, a businessman and former president of the Houston Rockets, has been the leading contender to buy the team. It's speculated that Postolos and his group of investors have put together an offer that Johnson is ready to accept. But Jordan, who is a minority owner of the Bobcats (I'm guessing about 10 percent) and managing member of basketball operations, reportedly has first right of refusal, which is how the timeline for him to match Postolos's offer came about.

Here are five reasons why Charlotte would be better off having Michael Jordan as the Bobcats' majority owner than George Postolos.

  • Name recognition. I don't care what anyone says, that matters. The average person doesn't know who George Postolos is, while the average person in a Third World country knows Jordan. People in Charlotte would rather brag that Michael Jordan owns their team.
  • All politics is local: One of the biggest gripes since Jordan bought a stake in the Bobcats in 2006 and became their top executive is that he doesn't spend enough time in Charlotte. That was the same complaint about Bob Johnson. Well, not only has Jordan gotten more involved over the past year and a half and is in town more, how much more present do you think the guy from Texas is going to be?
  • If Postolos buys the team, he's said that he will likely replace the top executives. Any new owner who has put up hundreds of millions of dollars would want to put his own people in place, so that's understandable. But the last thing the Bobcats need is another group of executives who have to learn how Charlotte works. Postolos might have a strong history as an NBA executive, but what the Bobcats need is someone who is going to get more people in SouthPark, University, Dilworth, Myers Park, Ballantyne, Uptown, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and Rock Hill to come to more games. Jordan and his group of execs, while not the most successful at it thus far, have a few years of groundwork under their belts.
  • If Postolos comes, then Jordan's out, which means Larry Brown leaves. Brown has said repeatedly that the reason he took the Bobcats head coaching job is because of M.J. He's also at times said that he's asked Jordan to be around more, to which I think Jordan has obliged. The Bobcats can't afford to lose the coach who in his first year led them to a franchise record in wins, and in his second has them headed for the playoffs.
  • Jordan has extreme ties to North Carolina. He grew up in Wilimington, played college ball in Chapel Hill, and for the past four years has been a part-time resident of Charlotte (one of his brothers live here also). When I saw Jordan accept an award from the Charlotte Chamber in the fall of 2008, he talked about his North Carolina roots. It's important that the top guy at one of our important institutions has that. We just lost that at one of the institutions up the street from where the Bobcats play.


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