Jordan has interacted with many Hornets players over the years, and each one has a different story regarding their first meeting with their boss. One particular player — guard Terry Rozier — shared how much of an impact one quick meeting with MJ made.
Michael Jordan became an NBA owner in 2006
Three years after retiring from the NBA for good, Jordan went from the court to the owner’s box. The five-time MVP purchased a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, making him the second-largest shareholder behind majority owner Robert L. Johnson. But he still had lots of influence, assuming full control of basketball operations.
In 2010, Jordan set his sights on becoming the majority owner. He was successful, becoming the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA team. As the principal owner and chairman, the 58-year-old oversaw the Bobcats rebranding to the Hornets, but also only one playoff appearance in 2016.
“Purchasing the Bobcats is the culmination of my post-playing career goal of becoming the majority owner of an NBA franchise,” Jordan said in 2010. “I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to build a winning team in my home state of North Carolina.”
Terry Rozier recalled what it was like meeting Jordan
Jordan has been a part of Charlotte’s NBA franchise for 15 years, overseeing countless player acquisitions through free agency and trades. One of them was Rozier, who was part of a sign-and-trade involving Kemba Walker in 2019. The 27-year-old has had an impressive two years in Charlotte, and after signing a $56.7 million offer sheet in July 2019, the guard inked a four-year extension this summer worth $96 million.
In a Jordan feature on The Athletic, Rozier shared what it was like meeting His Airness for the first time after joining the Hornets.
“It was at the Aria in Vegas, we got lunch and we were outside. He was telling all his stories, about him lifting every day before the game, and him going against the Pistons, and they were putting him on his butt because of how physical they were. He had to go and get stronger.
It was just, I was looking in a daze while he was talking. It was crazy, like ‘I’m really here talking with Michael Jordan, he’s sharing all these stories and giving me all this game?’ It was crazy. It was my first time with him and it was probably the best meeting I’ve ever had.”Terry Rozier
Rozier has seen his best production with Charlotte. He averaged 18.0 points per game in 2019-20, a sharp increase over his previous career-high of 11.3. But Scary Terry improved even more last season, averaging 20.4 points and shooting 45% from the field.
Jordan has the Charlotte Hornets ready to compete
Since making the postseason in 2016, the Hornets have had five straight losing seasons. But MJ has helped put together a roster ready to compete in an improved Eastern Conference.
Along with Rozier, Charlotte handed out a four-year, $120 million contract to former All-Star Gordon Hayward, who averaged 19.6 points in his debut season in the Queen City. Jordan has also added first-round picks Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington, and James Bouknight. However, his greatest addition could be Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, who at 20 years old already looks the part of a future All-Star.
This core, with the exception of the rookie Bouknight, led the Hornets to the play-in tournament last season. However, a loss to the Indiana Pacers ended their playoff hopes.
Perhaps more life-changing conversations with Jordan are what these Hornets players need to take the next step.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.