Contrary To Popular Perception, Michael Jordan Doesn't Believe in Tanking

By Andrew Fisher
Michael Jordan
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest competitor in the history of American athletics. His will to win has certainly never been matched in NBA history and his results on the court speak volumes. However, his career in the basketball front office has been a completely different story. Jordan has been behind multiple draft pick busts during his time with the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats. He’s now in his fourth full season as the Bobcats’ majority owner, but his team has yet to turn the corner.

In related news, an anonymous NBA general manager revealed to ESPN this week that he’s built his team to tank in 2013-14. Not that the team will throw games, but that he hasn’t put enough talent on the roster for the team to win a substantial amount of games. The strategy is of course built on the premise of landing a top draft pick and a franchise player the following season. MJ, however, does not subscribe to this theory.

Here’s what the Bobcats’ owner had to say about tanking in a recent interview:

“I don’t know if some teams have thought of that. That’s not something that we would do. I don’t believe in that. It’s not guaranteed [the player] you are going to get is going to be that star anyway. I did read that certain teams are thinking about doing it. But I’m not one of them. So let’s alleviate that conversation.”

So even though many people would swear up and down that the Bobcats have ‘tanked’ under Jordan, specifically in 2012, the owner sounds like he doesn’t buy into the theory. This is a good and bad thing. It’s good that Jordan sticks to his guns and tries to win as many games as possible each year. It’s also bad that these last few seasons of Bobcats’ basketball, are Jordan’s best attempts at putting a winning roster together. In fact, it’s down right scary if he’s trying his best.

2013 figures to be Charlotte’s best season in years. I know I’m rooting for them, but if they fall flat yet again, you have to wonder how much longer Jordan will remain in the front office.


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