As a player, Michael Jeffrey Jordan has a legacy as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. Considering all he was able to do over his 15-year basketball career, his place at the top of the NBA’s hierarchy cannot be denied.
When it comes to being a team owner, though, Jordan isn’t nearly as accomplished. After becoming the majority owner of the Hornets (who were called the Bobcats at the time) in 2010, he cemented himself as the first former player to become the majority owner of a franchise.
Since then, the Hornets have been mostly irrelevant, with all-time bad season records and a couple of nibbles at postseason basketball. While Charlotte’s small-market identity has contributed to their struggles to build a contending roster, some of MJ’s decisions have been criticized as a huge hindrance to the team’s goals.
To that point, you need to look no further than this past offseason, when Jordan was criticized for some of the moves he oversaw — including letting go of Kemba Walker, signing Gordon Hayward to a huge max extension, and drafting LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick.
In a crazy and interesting twist, however, all of those decisions are working out for the Hornets, who currently stand at 8th in the East…
Terry Rozier Is Having A Breakout Season
In perhaps the most controversial move of the offseason, MJ and GM Mitch Kupchak decided to let Kemba Walker walk in favor of Terry Rozier. It was a head-scratching move at the time — but it’s making a little more sense now.
Rozier is averaging 21 points per game on a whopping 46% shooting from three this season, while Walker’s struggles in Boston have him putting up 17 points per game on 37% shooting. Rozier is also four years younger, making roughly $16 million less, and seems to be an ideal fit with their current regime.
Gordon Hayward Is Having The Best Season Of His Career
Dubbed “one of the worst free-agent contracts in recent memory,” Jordan was clowned on social media for offering Gordon Hayward a four-year, $120 million contract. Admittedly, it is a hefty price tag to pay for a 30-year-old 1x All-Star with an injury history.
But Hayward has impressed the world this season, averaging 21.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game as the leader of the squad. Considering the Hornets’ current position, it’s hard to deny that bringing him in has really helped the team blossom.
LaMelo Ball Is The Frontrunner For ROTY
Ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo was viewed as a player with more noise than actual talent. Being a member of the infamous Ball family, he came into the NBA with a lot of doubters and haters.
When the Hornet picked him up, nobody would imagine he’d be playing so well out of the gate. As the runaway frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, LaMelo is looking like a star in the making, and Jordan has to be praised for picking him up.
The Hornets, to everybody’s surprise, are currently fighting for a playoff spot in the East, and they look like a franchise finally headed in the right direction.
After all the flack and shame that was thrown Jordan’s way, it’s time to acknowledge that he’s doing something right with this team.