Friday, April 15, 2011

Unless you don't have a TV or Internet access or have been avoiding public interaction, you know about Charlie Sheen's antics/meltdown of the last couple of months. And as people have been fascinated with watching Sheen's train wreck, one of the few things that was actually funny was his seemingly made-up-on-the-spot catchphrases, of which the most popular has been "winning." So when Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said the word this week in response to an off-putting question about Sheen, "winning" took on even more connotations.

A scene from one of the Hanes TV commercials Michael Jordan and Charlie Sheen starred in together a couple of years ago.

The Charlotte Observer published a series of articles this week about the Bobcats and how their season went, which ended Wednesday night. Earlier that day, Jordan engaged in an hour-long Q&A with reporters and editors from the Observer. He doesn't grant a lot of interviews, but when he does he seems to make himself available in a way that says "ask me all your questions now because it'll be another few months before I talk to you again." While I give him credit for talking to local media more during this past year of him being the team's majority owner than he did the previous four years when he owned a small percentage of the team and ran basketball operations, I think he should grant even more interviews because he's usually candid in a way that fans appreciate and addresses the concerns they might have. Plus, when he talks, he lessens the need for the speculation that surrounds any team.

Here are links to a couple of the Observer stories that came out of their interview with Jordan:
It's in the Sorensen piece that the writer reveals he asked Jordan about his relationship with Charlie Sheen. Here's how he described it:

Jordan is the equalizer. The Jordan brand fills the boardroom. Jordan is charismatic and glib and sounds committed. If he’s acting, he’s too good for a Hanes commercial with Charlie Sheen.

Speaking of which – the bond between Michael and Charlie in the Hanes commercial was more than acting. Human beings are not capable of such work. No, there was something real between them. It was exciting to watch, two performers at the top of their craft.

Michael, I ask, were you surprised by Charlie’s implosions and have you reached out to him?

“I, I, I mean I don’t even know how to respond to that one,” says Jordan. “I’ve had a lot of other things on my mind – winning. So my relationship with Charlie is not one where we communicate that way. I did a commercial with him two, three years ago.”

Jordan clearly doesn't want to be associated with Sheen at this point--I don't blame him. He seems to take it in jest though as Sorensen said Jordan laughed when furthering his response by saying: "I haven’t spent any time with Charlie. Don’t put me there."

But does Jordan realize that he said "winning"? Is he sure he didn't get that from Sheen? I wonder if he said it the way Sheen does. More importantly, Jordan needs to bring some "tiger blood" to the team this offseason in the form of an exciting free agent. After a season in which the Bobcats fired their head coach, traded away their best player, and finished with a terrible record, just one year after making the playoffs for the first time in team history and leading many to believe that things were turning around, Jordan has to get it right next season. Or he risks losing fans' interest forever.

So back to the Jordan-Sheen connection. I've posted two YouTube videos below. The first is of the Hanes commercial that ran for a couple of years, showing Sheen trying to become buds with Jordan, even tossing his phone into Jordan's car. The second video is that same commercial but parodied, as someone's replaced the audio with what they humorously assert as what Sheen would say if the commercial was filmed in 2011.


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