Michael Jordan Steps Back From Basketball Operations, Gives GM More Power

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has had a major hand in most Bobcats’ personnel decisions, but that approach hasn’t worked, and now Jordan says he will let his front office staff make decisions themselves.

Last season Jordan, one of the NBA’s winningest players, was forced to watch his Bobcats finish with the worst winning percentage in league history, .106. That was apparently the final straw. Fox News reports will Jordan will allow general manager Rich Cho to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of running the team without his interference.

The strategy could pay off. The New England Sports Network, drawing on an analogy tied to Jordan’s playing days, points out that the greatest player in NBA history won titles in the past by passing the ball to role players such as Steve Kerr and John Paxson.

Jordan’s front office career has certainly not lived up to his playing career. As a player, Jordan won six NBA championships and was a perennial all-star and scoring champion. As an executive, he’s remembered for bringing Kwame Brown to Washington with the first overall pick in 2001 and for wasting the third pick in 2006 on Adam Morrison in Charlotte.

Brown averaged more than 10 points per game just once in his career, and Morrison has been out of the league since the Lakers released him in 2010.

Cho, on the other hand, has a system of metrics and analytics that has gained praise. He’s credited with helping turn small market Oklahoma City Thunder into a power, building through the draft and with smart trades while he as the Thunder’s assistant general manager.

Michael Jordan’s a smart man, a shrewd businessman, and, deep down, a winner. While he hasn’t won as an executive yet, it seems he’s realizing that its time for a change in tactics. If Cho’s approach works, it might not be too long before Jordan the executive is no longer a punchline.