There’s no doubt in my mind that former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever to walk this Earth. He is not, however, even a capable owner, much less a quality one.
In yet another move designed to distract everyone from the fact that his Charlotte Bobcats franchise is the laughing stock of the NBA, Jordan will announce the team’s decision to change its name back to the original moniker of Charlotte Hornets later today, a name which should be in place by the 2014-2015 season.
Sure, it’s possible the name change will bring upon some short-term nostalgia which may encourage fans to believe that things are finally headed in the right direction, but in reality, as the old Texas saying goes it’s just putting lipstick on a pig.
While the Hornets nickname has some cultural significance for folks that live in Charlotte, it won’t change the fact that the team’s roster is a hodge-podge of missed draft picks, has beens and guys who never were.
The 2012-2013 Bobcats finished 21-61, with a record better only than the pathetic Orlando Magic who limped to a 20-62 finish in the 82-game regular season slate. Since Michael Jordan took over ownership duties of the franchise prior to the 2010 season, the Bobcats the team has a cumulative record of 62-128 — with an all-time worst season coming in 2011-2012 when they staggered to a 7-59 finish in the strike-shortened 66 game schedule.
This season, the Bobcats were led in scoring by Kemba Walker, the former Connecticut Huskies star who averaged 17.5 points per game and Gerald Henderson, a career Bobcat who averaged 15.5 points per game. There’s a substantial talent drop-off between these two — neither of whom would be starters on most NBA rosters — and the remainder of the roster who wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow in terms of name recognition by the casual NBA fan.
Even a complete roster overhaul by Jordan and his basketball front office staff won’t lead to short-term returns. If they do work through an overhaul, the returns wouldn’t be likely for several seasons down the road when these guys who are far from NBA royalty first wear the Hornets jersey.
In simplest terms, Michael Jordan is making something that is damn ugly just a bit more sparkly — for now — but isn’t really fooling anyone.
A pig is still a pig.