Is Michael Jordan a Bad NBA Owner?

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Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan celebrating with a player

When it comes to the Mount Rushmore of basketball greats, chances are Michael Jordan is the first or second name that will come to mind for any die-hard basketball fan. During his time with the Chicago Bulls, he cemented himself as an icon for the game, winning six championships in eight seasons.

Since retiring, Jordan has gone on to have a major stake of ownership in the Charlotte Hornets and the team has struggled to find success. So today we will ask: Is Michael Jordan a bad NBA owner?

How Michael Jordan became an owner of the Charlotte Hornets

 After having a minor ownership stake in the team since 2006, Jordan became the majority owner of the franchise in 2010. By that point, he had already cemented himself as one of the league’s worst executives, with his choice of Kwame Brown as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft being one of the all-time miscues in a draft.

Charlotte would quickly succumb to poor roster and organizational management by Jordan, and the team isn’t a contender in the new-look Eastern Conference.

Poor draft choices

How many bad selections have the Hornets made since Jordan became the majority owner? Let’s look at the notable picks:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 2 overall in 2012)

Selecting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist over Damian Lillard (No. 6 to Portland) and Andre Drummond (No. 9 to Detroit), were colossal mistakes. A backcourt of Lillard and Kemba Walker would have become a dominant backcourt in the East.

Frank Kaminsky (No. 9 overall in 2015)

This was another head-scratcher by Jordan. Frank Kaminsky was never viewed as a dominant big coming out of Wisconsin, so seeing him go so high over Myles Turner showed Jordan’s lack of preparation on scouting potential starters.

Other notable selections were Malik Monk over Donovan Mitchell in 2017, trading Shae Gilgeous-Alexander to the Clippers on the night of the 2018 draft, and being one of 14 other teams to pass on Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013.

Questionable contracts

Jordan didn’t just whiff on draft picks, he also gave out a lot of questionable contract offers to free agents while trying to keep the team in contention as Kemba Walker grew into an All-Star. 

Offering Tyrus Thomas a five-year deal worth $40 million is bad, but giving Nicolas Batum a max deal worth $120 million has to go down as one of the worst contract offers of the 2010s. 

Batum hasn’t been anywhere near as good as fans expected him to be for this amount of money. Normally a max guy will give you 20 points and eight or nine rebounds per game at his position.

During his time in Charlotte, Batum has averaged 12 points and five assists in five seasons. Batum is sitting at a paltry three points and four rebounds per game in 20 minutes this season.

Can Michael Jordan turn things around?

The Hornets have made the playoffs only twice since Jordan became the majority owner, and after executing a sign-and-trade deal to send Kemba Walker to Boston, the future doesn’t look bright.

The first step in becoming a formidable franchise in the East is building an extensive scouting network, to discover hidden talents that always seem to fall to other teams in the early and mid portions of the second-round.

Having stability on the sidelines will also make things easier as he has gone through seven coaches in his 15 years with the team.

Is Michael Jordan a bad NBA owner?

When you look at all the misses in the draft, the poor contracts, and the revolving door of head coaches, it’s safe to say Michael Jordan is one of the worst owners in the NBA.

Of course, if you look at Jordan’s resume you know he doesn’t take too well to losing. He isn’t solely to blame for the Hornets’ struggles, but blame should start at the top.