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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The perplexity of Michael Jordan

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A lot goes with being the Greatest of All Time. Fame, legend, millions, glory, championships. Even the ability to own your own franchise.

When Michael Jordan got into the NBA ownership game with the Washington Wizards, it was short-lived. It ended up with some poor draft choices and him suiting up for the team for his third comeback.

His second stint in ownership, as the current majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, could best be described as disastrous. With five games to play this season, the Bobcats are on their way to establishing a new NBA record for lowest winning percentage. They're 7-54 currently with no signs of winning any of their remaining games. In essence, they're a joke.

Nobody knows what truly drives MJ. We know about his will to win on the court, his work ethic and desire. His relentless pursuit to be the best, his competitiveness. All those attributes led him to be widely regarded as the greatest basketball player in NBA history. But why has, it seems, none of that transfered to Jordan, the owner?

"Air" Jordan has done a lot of things that left people scratching their heads. First, it was his abrupt retirement in 1993 after the Bulls' first three-peat and his father's death. Rumors and conspiracy theories to explain why have swirled ever since.

He went to play minor league baseball to prove to himself and everyone else that he could do it. His stats weren't great, but considering he was playing double-A ball, he didn't do too bad.

Then he returned in the middle of a season, and ended up leading the Bulls to three more championships. When the Bulls were dismantled after the 1998 season, it seemed like a good time for him to step away. His last shot was a game-winner to win the Finals - can't do much better than that.

But when you're Michael Jordan, you don't do what's expected. While he did retire (for the second time), he was back with the Wizards two years later. Why does he do the things he does? No one knows.

Which brings us to present day, and more decisions that make the millions that still follow MJ shake their heads. As a Hanes spokesman for many years, Jordan wore a mustache in a national ad last year eerily similar the German leader of the Holocaust. Why? Probably because nobody could tell him it was a bad idea.

During the lockout, it was reported that Jordan was one of the owners pushing for less revenue for the players. NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy said Jordan the player would hate Jordan the owner.

Once the lockout ended, his Bobcats have turned in perhaps the worst season ever. Why did he buy a team to see how bad he could make it? Again, no one knows.

Obviously, MJ is a different guy. He has to be to achieve the things he's done. No one can dispute his accomplishments on the basketball court. He scored with ease, flew through the air and was called the Greatest.

Now, as an owner, he's five games from being the Worst. And trying to figure out why is something only MJ knows.

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Zach Jevne
Real Sports Talk
Zach joined the Daily Reporter staff as sports editor in March 2011. He is originally from Decorah, Iowa. He played baseball at University of Northern Iowa and studied multimedia journalism at Simpson College.