What if Michael Jordan were MJ of execs?
April, 25, 2012
By DJ Gallo | ESPN.com
Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty ImagesWe're going to say something nice: Michael Jordan has owned the Bobcats for more than two years.The Charlotte Bobcats play the Dwight Howard-less Magic on Wednesday night. Barring a huge upset, the Bobcats will get crushed and lose their 22nd game in a row, moving ever closer to finishing with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
Somewhere, the man who built the team will be having a grand time. Because Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, is the worst executive in sports.
But what if that was different? What if Michael Jordan were the Michael Jordan of sports executives? Here’s how that might have looked.
Jordan becomes part owner and president of basketball operations with the Wizards. The Wizards' first pick in the 2000 draft is not until the sixth selection of the second round, but Jordan smartly nabs Michael Redd.
Jordan spends the 2000-01 season evaluating his team, identifying Rip Hamilton as his best player -- one he will not trade. Jordan also sees that there is no true No. 1 player available in the draft and packages the No. 1 overall pick and Redd in a deal for two lower-first-round picks. This allows Jordan to pass on Kwame Brown and instead draft Pau Gasol and Tony Parker.
The 2001-02 Wizards team of Parker, Hamilton and Gasol quickly becomes basketball’s best young team and makes a deep run into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Jordan realizes the young, talented Wizards need a veteran influence and announces he will return to play in the 2002-03 season -- but setting his ego aside, the aging Jordan insists he will only come off the bench. During the draft, he trades Brendan Haywood and the Wizards' late-first-round pick to move up to select Amare Stoudemire at No. 9.
The young Wizards of Parker, Hamilton, Gasol and Stoudemire -- with a fresh Jordan coming off the bench -- dominate the NBA and win every game in the playoffs on the way to an NBA championship. Jordan wins NBA Executive of the Year, and Nike releases a wildly popular line of wing-tip dress shoes.
2004 – present
After building the 2002-03 NBA champion Wizards, Jordan steps away from running the team seeing “no real challenge in it anymore.” However, thanks to his brilliant moves, the Wizards are set up for the long term and win title after title after title. Their run only comes to an end in 2011, when they are knocked off by the Charlotte Bobcats, who never drafted Adam Morrison.