Tuesday , Sep , 11 , 2012 Matt Formica

Michael Jordan to give more control to GM Cho

Michael Jordan has apparently decided to relinquish some control of the decision making for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  As much as we all love Michael, taking a step back might not be the worst idea.

Ryan McGee of ESPN the Magazine reported that the greatest basketball player of all time has elected to pull back on the reins of control in Charlotte and give their General Manager, Rich Cho, more autonomy to manage the team.

"Jordan has taken the most unexpected turn of all during the past year:  In order to win basketball games, Michael Jordan has removed himself from the equation.  He’s promised his front office staff that he’ll let them do their jobs without his shadow looming over their war-room marker boards."  (McGee, ESPN the Magazine)

Cho was the assistant GM for years in Seattle and then moved with the team when they went to Oklahoma.  Known to utilize his legal and mathematical backgrounds to make decisions in a Moneyball sort of manner (as McGee describes), his management tactics have been largely credited as one of the reasons the Thunder have done so well in the past few years. 

In July of 2010, Cho was hired to be the General Manager for the Portland Trail Blazers and became the first Asian American GM in NBA history.  He spent one season with Portland before taking the job with the Bobcats at the beginning of last year.

Last year, the Charlotte Bobcats posted a dismal 7-59 regular season record, which ended up being the worst winning percentage for a team in NBA history.

Since MJ took control of the team, the Bobcats haven’t had much to write him about.  It was often cited that Jordan made poor decisions on behalf of the organization (Kwame Brown being one of them) and constantly overshadowed the other team executives and management.  (But let’s be honest, he’s Michael Jordan.  To a certain degree, considering everything he’s done for the game, he should be allowed to make a few bad decisions along the way.)

The good news for Charlotte fans is it’s looking like things are about to change.   And for the better.

Matt Moore at cbssports.com wrote, "Jordan turning over the reins is crucial.  Cho did well in his only season in Portland.  The immediate change in the process, including more money spent on scouting and evaluation tools, is crucial.  You’re not going to make a huge change immediately…Cho must be afforded time, the most valuable commodity of all."

And in time, I think Cho will do well by Charlotte.  The best general managers don’t always have to be the best players.  Management is often times more scientific; it requires a greater level of calculation; and I think Cho’s background and execution will end up proving so.

Big ups to Jordan for finally recognizing that as well.

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