HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a ploy. The owners and players are currently negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Commissioner David Stern will use this leverage to threaten the Player’s Union. They concede on salary rollbacks or he’ll ‘push’ to contract the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Hornets.
Forget the CBA drama. Would contraction be so bad?
Memphis and New Orleans will always struggle to generate sufficient revenue –even with a new CBA. After all, Grizzly and Hornet owners Michael Heisley and George Shinn have been trying to sell their teams for years.
There’s no interest. And there’s no market.
However, Stern wouldn’t let Michael Jordan – the most popular NBA player of all time – buy the Bobcats if contraction was a real possibility in Charlotte.
Charlotte may still be angry because of the Hornets’ departure. Attendance may be mediocre. And Jordan may have bought the team for less than the expansion fee that original owner Bob Johnson paid.
North Carolina is a hoops hotbed. Basketball is a religion; years before they left Charlotte, the Hornets led the NBA in attendance.
Jordan used his money to buy the team. He’s too competitive to allow the Bobcats to languish. He’ll change the culture and environment.
Stern knows this.
While contraction may be the best option for Memphis and New Orleans, Charlotte should stay. Let Jordan stick out his trademark tongue, put in work, and fix things.
If number 23 can’t right the ship, nobody can.
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