After years of giving credence to the theory that great players do not necessarily make credible evaluators of talent, Michael Jordan has decided to pass along the responsibilities of player acquisitions with the Charlotte Bobcats to Richard Cho, former general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to ESPN The Magazine, Jordan has turned over the reigns to the new school Cho and has promised his front office staff that he will not interfere in the execution of their jobs.
Jordan’s hiring of Cho, along with his commitment to spending more money on scouting and evaluation of talent, will be crucial if the Bobcats are to mirror the strategy that helped Oklahoma City build arguably the best young team in the NBA.
It is one way Jordan can salvage his basketball managing reputation, which has been marred by drafting Kwame Brown No. 1 when he led the Washington Wizards, hiring Sam Vincent for one year as coach of the Bobcats and many other draft choices or trades that did nothing to strengthen either of the teams he managed.
“Obviously, I’m a competitor,” Jordan said when asked about the Bobcats abysmal season this past year. “I never want to be in the record books for failing.”
That’s where he is right now. The Bobcats, in a lockout-shortened season, were 7-59 a year ago — the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.
“At the end of the day, you have to understand it was a shortened season and we had a lot of injuries and we had a lot of young kids thrust into a starting scenario,” Jordan said this summer. “Our record was a repercussion of those facts. As much people have tried to criticize, it was a down period for the franchise to be in that type of light, but we feel like we still have some good bases to build with and the young kids have a feel for what it’s like to be in the NBA.
“Last year was one of those years where everything happened against us,” he said. “I take full credit for that. Unfortunately those things happen. But I see an upside for this franchise without a doubt.”