Charlotte Hornets owner and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan said that being an owner of a franchise is much harder and “isn’t as much fun” as being a player.
Jordan spoke with ESPN.com about how he about feels the game, his challenges as an owner, and the team’s nickname change from the Bobcats back to the Hornets.
And although he won six championships as a member of the Chicago Bulls, he says his next ring would be sweeter than those.
“I’m always dreaming about that seventh ring," Jordan, who bought the team for $275 million in 2010, told ESPN.com. "And to get to that would be much more gratifying.”
Over the past few seasons, Charlotte has tried to build a roster that can compete in the Eastern Conference. It signed guard Lance Stephenson to a three-year, $27 million deal this offseason and picked up forward Marvin Williams to make up for the loss of Josh McRoberts, who signed with the Heat. The Hornets return All-NBA performer Al Jefferson and guard Kemba Walker to a team that won 43 games and made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
The team’s win total has increased in each of the last three seasons, after it set an NBA record for futility by posting a .106 winning percentage in the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12.
Jordan, 51, says he knows he cannot affect the game on the court anymore and he has come to accept that.
"I played this game for a long time and I always took criticism in a way that's going to make me better as a basketball player and I could affect the game per se," he said. "Here, I can't do that other than talking to my other employees or coaches or players."
Jordan said he didn’t want to change the team’s nickname back to the Hornets at first, saying he didn’t want to live in the past, but move forward.
“That was my initial thinking and my staff came to me and said, "Let's do a survey and see what the people want. Once the opportunity came where we could get the name Hornets and when it came back overwhelmingly that they wanted the name back, this is when my decision was made," Jordan said.
The Hornets start the regular season on Wednesday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Scooby Axson