Tag Archives: Michael Jordan

Charles Barkley on Michael Jordan: Owner

From Pro Basketball Talk

Barkley called Jordan on it on national television, then Jordan called Barkley on his cell phone. I’ll let you take a guess as to how the uber-competitive Jordan takes to being called out. Barkley was on ESPN Chicago Radio with Waddle and Silvy and described how that conversation went (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“I thought my name was S.O.B and M.F., like damn, I couldn’t even say anything. I said, ‘Dude I can’t get on the radio and tell people you been doin’ a good job.’”

“He’s relying on our friendship and I said, ‘Dude, I love you, you one of my best friends, period. You been there for me, I been there for you but.’ I think he got mad; he surrounded himself with people. One of the really difficult things about being famous, all your friends, you’re paying all the bills, they’re flying around on your private jet, very few of your friends are ever gonna disagree with you. And I think that’s the thing he got most mad about, ’cause I mean his record speaks for itself and I wanna see Michael do well, but I think that was actually an example when he thinks you’re supposed to be with him no matter what. But dude, you gotta get better people to wear on you if you’re gonna be successful. … You gotta have friends around you who [are] not afraid to say, ‘Oh that guy can’t play.’ And we’re cool now.”

I love the fact that Jordan tries to defend his record as owner.  You just can’t.  He is amongst the worst league executive in sports history and that includes the clowns that have run the Toronto Maple Leafs for decades.

The Dream Team 20 Years Later

This history of the 1992 US Olympic basketball team might only be interesting to those who watched all those games.

Chuck started Michael and Magic every game and then rotated the other three. Pippen would start one game, Mullin would start the next. Robinson and Ewing would alternate; Malone and Barkley would alternate. He was a master at managing. But in the second game against Croatia, there was never any doubt: He was putting Pippen on Toni Kukoc [who had just been drafted by the Bulls and had been offered a contract for more money than his future teammate]. Pippen and Jordan were tired of hearing about how great Kukoc was, because they were winning NBA championships.

You ever watch a lion or a leopard or a cheetah pouncing on their prey? We had to get Michael and Scottie out of the locker room, because they was damn near pulling straws to see who guarded him. Kukoc had no idea.

I watched everyone of those games and they were incredible.  Hearing the story behind those games is a lot of fun.

The embarrassment that is Warren Sapp right now

Despite being a Notre Dame fan which automatically makes me hate any player that came out of the University of Miami, I was a Warren Sapp fan.   After reading this, not so much any more.

Warren SappFormer NFL star Warren Sapp owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.

Sapp’s $6.45 million in assets includes 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500, a $2,250 watch and a lion skin rug worth $1,200. He also reported losing his 2002 Super Bowl ring with the Bucs and his 1991 national championship ring from the University of Miami.

The court documents were filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale on March 30. TMZ.com first reported the filing. A phone message and e-mail left Saturday with his attorney, Chad Pugatch, were not immediately returned.

Sapp’s average monthly income is $115,881, according to the filings, and includes $45,000 for a final contract payment with Showtime, $48,000 for an appearance with CCA Sports and $18,675 as an advance for a book deal. His contract with the NFL Network ends in August, the filings show, and it was unknown if the contract will be renewed.

First of all, I am not sure that I believe him that he “lost” his two championship rings.  You don’t lose Super Bowl rings.  You may gamble them away but you don’t lose them.  He makes over $450,000 a year from the NFL Network and as the article states, almost a million a year in income and yet he is declaring bankruptcy.   According to his ex-wife, he hasn’t made consistent child support parents since 2010 and is behind nearly $700,000.

Update: Sapp is likely to be tossed from the NFL Network at the end of his contract.

Why do professional athletes cheat?

From ESPN

Jenn Sterger: The target of Brett Favre's affectionsThe concept of infidelity in sports isn’t exactly new but is seemingly ever-present now with the help of technology, TMZ, message boards and other instant media. Stories about Parker’s divorce, Brett Favre’s alleged racy text messages and Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s sex-extortion case are just a click, tweet and moment away.

Two stories in 2009 shook the landscape more than any other athlete-infidelity tales. In the early morning hours of July 4, Tennessee football hero Steve McNair was shot to death by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi, a 20-year-old waitress. Roughly five months later, after Thanksgiving, Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree, leading to revelation after revelation that he’d cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren, multiple times.

After months of nonstop Tiger coverage, one would think the average athlete might learn his lesson and see Tiger as a wake-up call. But in various interviews with athletes, spouses, girlfriends and people who work closely with the professional leagues, most agreed it hasn’t prompted many lifestyle changes.

"I don’t think athletes learn by osmosis," says Randy Kessler, a high-profile family law attorney who represents athletes, celebrities and spouses. "They’re human like all of us."

Kessler, based in Atlanta, says the culture of adultery is so pervasive that he stresses to his clients that they become educated, proactive and realistic. He recently suggested to one of his NBA clients that he include a clause in his prenuptial agreement that states if his wife files for divorce because he cheated, he won’t be penalized financially.

He told the NBA player it was likely he’d cheat on his wife and it was likely he’d be caught.

"I thought he was going to hit me," Kessler says. "I thought he was going to be mad. You know what? He said, ‘I want one of those; I want a bad-boy provision.’ He already knew what it was."

Kessler says about half of his office’s 500 active cases involve adultery.

None of this surprises Steven Ortiz, an associate professor of sociology at Oregon State who has spent nearly 20 years studying the wives of professional athletes and what he calls "husband-oriented" sports marriages. In one study, Ortiz interviewed 47 wives married to men in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

He chalks up the pattern of behavior to a patriarchal society and what he calls "spoiled-athlete syndrome." Since childhood, he says, athletes are enabled because of their obvious talent. And in the same way the culture of celebrity is celebrated, athletic heroes are worshipped.

I was listening to a long interview one night a decade or so ago with Michael Jordan and he said that the only teammate that he knew that didn’t cheat was Steve Kerr.

Michael Jordan: Owner

Michael Jordan: OwnerSo Michael Jordan is about to take over the Charlotte Bobcats.  I am not the only one that thinks he will be horrible at it.  This is from Yahoo! Sports.

You’re going to have to get it together, though, Mike.

You’re going to have to grow up, first and foremost. Nothing starts until your childhood ends, and there’s nothing more childish than a game of freakin’ HORSE. You think Bill Gates is playing jacks in the mailroom? Trying to best the water delivery guy at Minesweeper?

From there, you’re going to have to act like a proper owner or a GM. You can’t be both. You’re either going to have to cede control with some input to Rod Higgins, or you’re going to have to take over fully and deal with the idea of someone else acting as principal owner. The job is too complicated, and no person could pull it off in 2010. No man, not even you. Once you’ve grown up, then I’ll believe you can understand that. I’m not holding my breath.

As owner, you’re going to have to show the same initiative and hands-on interest that made you such a successful businessman in the 1980s and 1990s. No, you didn’t build the Nissans or make the Nikes, but you knew how to run things. Sometime, around the time of your second retirement (and, say, MVP.com), that went away.

Now, that’s OK. That’s what retirement is – not having to really answer to anyone, and turning 18 holes into 36 holes. There’s nothing wrong with that, you’ve certainly earned that, but you’re not retired anymore. Your input was on point back in your heyday because you had a set schedule. Meetings to attend, shootarounds to show up for, close to a hundred games a year. You don’t really have that anymore, even with your supposed commitments to the Bobcats. Those days are over.

And if you continue to play the role of the retired guy who isn’t? You’ll fail. Because this organization is set to fail.

I am going to say here that the Michael Jordan era won’t last five years and he is going to replace Donald Sterling as the most disinterested owner in the NBA.   Like everyone, I was rooting for him when he took over the Wizards and we saw how that turned out.  His involvement so far with the Bobcats?  Well he had final say on personnel moves and seemed totally disinterested in that role.  Now he is owner…  I don’t expect a lot more.

Michael Jordan’s Final Performance

Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last night as one of the greatest players ever.  During his induction speech, he realized that Micheal Jordan, the man is nowhere nearly as a great as Michael Jordan, the player.  Here is how Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski saw it.

This wasn’t a Hall of Fame induction speech, but a bully tripping nerds with lunch trays in the school cafeteria. He had a responsibility to his standing in history, to players past and present, and he let everyone down. This was a night to leave behind the petty grievances and past slights – real and imagined. This was a night to be gracious, to be generous with praise and credit.

“M.J. was introduced as the greatest player ever and he’s still standing there trying to settle scores,” one Hall of Famer said privately later.

Jordan didn’t hurt his image with the NBA community, as much as he reminded them of it. “That’s who Michael is,” one high-ranking team executive said. “It wasn’t like he was out of character. There’s no one else who could’ve gotten away with what he did tonight. But it was Michael, and everyone just goes along.”

Jordan wandered through an unfocused and uninspired speech at Symphony Hall, disparaging people who had little to do with his career, like Jeff Van Gundy and Bryon Russell. He ignored people who had so much to do with it, like his personal trainer, Tim Grover. This had been a moving and inspirational night for the NBA – one of its best ceremonies ever – and five minutes into Jordan’s speech it began to spiral into something else. Something unworthy of Jordan’s stature, something beneath him.

Jordan spent more time pointlessly admonishing Van Gundy and Russell for crossing him with taunts a dozen years ago than he did singling out his three children. When he finally acknowledged his family, Jordan blurted, in part, to them, “I wouldn’t want to be you guys.”

Well, um, thanks Dad. He meant it, too. If not the NBA, he should’ve thought of his children before he started spraying fire at everyone.

No one ever feels sorry for Isiah Thomas, but Jordan tsk-tsked him and George Gervin and Magic Johnson for the 1985 All-Star game “freeze-out.” Jordan was a rookie, and the older stars decided to isolate him. It was a long time ago, and he obliterated them all for six NBA championships and five MVP trophies. Isiah and the Ice Man looked stunned, as intimidated 50 feet from the stage, as they might have been on the basketball court.

The cheering and laughter egged Jordan on, but this was no public service for him. Just because he was smiling didn’t mean this speech hadn’t dissolved into a downright vicious volley.

Worst of all, he flew his old high school teammate, Leroy Smith, to Springfield for the induction. Remember, Smith was the upperclassman his coach, Pop Herring, kept on varsity over him as a high school sophomore. He waggled to the old coach, “I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”

Whatever, Michael. Everyone gets it. Truth be told, everyone got it years ago, but somehow he thinks this is a cleansing exercise. When basketball wanted to celebrate Jordan as the greatest player ever, wanted to honor him for changing basketball everywhere, he was petty and punitive. Yes, there was some wink-wink teasing with his beloved Dean Smith, but make no mistake: Jordan revealed himself to be strangely bitter. You won, Michael. You won it all. Yet, he keeps chasing something that he’ll never catch, and sometimes, well, it all seems so hollow for him.

Slate has some thoughts on Michael Jordan’s retirement as well.