Thursday , May , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Michael Jordan to Buy Charlotte Bobcats?

Observing the rule that his name must feature in a major rumour at least once every two months, M.J. made his scheduled appearance in the press today. While he has largely managed to avoid attention even while attending playoff games in Chicago, it is now being suggested that Michael Jordan may make a move to buy the Charlotte Bobcats. With Ed Tapscott out as president and CEO and reports of money issues, there appears to be the perfect opening for Mike, who has long been open about his desire to become involved with a team at a management or ownership level.

Adding to the intrigue is the sighting about three weeks ago of Charlotte owner Robert Johnson and Michael Jordan dining together in the Washington, D.C., restaurant Café Milano.

I’m told that the Bobcats lost money this season in spite of having the league’s smallest player payroll ($33 million) and newest arena. As a result, people around the league who study such things say they would not be surprised if Johnson sold the franchise, especially after the collapse of his original plan to build the regional sports network C-SET around the Bobcats.

Michael Jordan to Buy Charlotte Bobcats?

Who says circumstantial evidence can’t be compelling? The belief in Jordan’s chances of becoming El Presidente of the Bobcats is based on a series of tenuous links, but I still can’t bring myself to dismiss this rumour as I have so many before it. 

Given their recent financial downturn, it’s not unreasonable to expect Bob Johnson to consider putting the franchise up for sale. Similarly, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a team based in Charlotte, North Carolina to a former Tarheel and current multimillionaire. That’s not to say that M.J. is already looking for his chequebook, but it does at least show that the distance between him and an NBA ownership position may not be as great as previously thought.