Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan made his first appearance of the 2020-21 season on Thursday at the Spectrum Center. The Hornets allowed fans at their home game for the first time all season against the Detroit Pistons.
Not only did Charlotte defeat Detroit by a final score of 105-102, but Michael Jordan is one of the main reasons the Hornets won.
Terry Rozier says Michael Jordan’s presence made a difference for the Hornets
Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history. When MJ walks into an arena, all eyes are on him, and his presence is felt even if he doesn’t say one word.
That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hornets guard Terry Rozier said he and his teammates were inspired to play well against the Pistons with Jordan in attendance. Rozier scored 17 points and hit the game-sealing shot with 9.1 seconds left in regulation.
“It’s always an honor to play in front of the GOAT,” Rozier said, via ClutchPoints. “When he steps in, his presence makes a difference. It was great for us to get a win in front of him. Can’t say anything else about that.”
Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird once described MJ as “God disguised as Michael Jordan.” Even though some of the players on the Hornets weren’t even born when Jordan was starring for the Chicago Bulls, every basketball player is impacted by Jordan’s aura.
Michael Jordan’s Hornets improved to 18-18 after defeating the Pistons. The six-time champion had to be thrilled that his team beat the franchise he hates the most in the NBA.
Michael Jordan’s rivalry with the Pistons was vicious
During the late ’80s and early ’90s, Michael Jordan’s Bulls had a vicious rivalry with the Pistons. Chicago lost to Detroit in the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals, and the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pistons used to beat Jordan up. They invented the famous “Jordan Rules” to stop the Bulls icon from scoring and intentionally hurt him.
After Jordan and the Bulls toughened up in the summer of 1990, Chicago swept the Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. However, Isiah Thomas and the Detroit players didn’t shake the Bulls’ hands as they walked off the court. Jordan has hated Thomas ever since then.
Once he got past the Pistons, Jordan ruled the NBA. He led the Bulls to three titles in 1991, 1992, and 1993 and three more in 1996, 1997, and 1998. MJ won all six Finals MVPs with Chicago and never played in a Game 7 in the Finals.
Michael Jordan finished his Bulls career with averages of 31.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. He hasn’t had success as the Hornets’ owner, but with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier leading the way this season, Charlotte could make some noise in the East.
LaMelo Ball is thriving for MJ
LaMelo Ball will likely win the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year Award. He’s averaging 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.4 assists for the Hornets and making Michael Jordan proud.
Jordan and his group of scouts should be commended for drafting Ball. Sure, it was an easy pick since Anthony Edwards was selected first and James Wiseman went second.
However, some pundits thought LaMelo Ball was too erratic to play in the NBA, so it was a good move by Michael Jordan not to listen to those critics.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.