Miles Bridges jumped on The Draymond Green Show and was asked a simple question: “How is it having the owner of the team that you played for being Michael Jordan?” The first place your mind goes to is the immense pressure of having the GOAT observe your every move. But when Draymond asked, “are you able to lean on Mike for advice or for different questions that you may have or is he not that connected to the team?” Bridges, without hesitation, confessed.
“Oh nah he’s connected. I got MJ’s number. I text him whenever we in a rough stretch and see what he would do in a situation or I text him about a game and he texts right back. As soon as I text him, I give it 5 minutes and he will text me back.”
Miles Bridges, The Draymond Green Show
He continued by explaining that “before All-Star break, he came in and ripped our ass. We got beat at home by Orlando. He’s very attuned with us. It’s nice having the GOAT just being there for you at all times, being connected, and just being able to rely on him and have resources like that.”
But there are many who had a different experience with MJ the owner/GM.
Kwame Brown and everything in between
There was a lot of hype surrounding Jordan’s comeback in the 2000s. Coach Doug Collins even professed that “Michael Jordan will be one of the top 10 players in the league.” What gets lost in that disappointing but memorable quote was his follow-up. “My biggest thing is I hope and pray he can stay healthy.”
Jordan’s Wizard’s tenure as the player was not the miserable embarrassment the media portrays it today to be. Leave those jokes for his front office run - but more on that later. MJ finished his first season leading the team in scoring (22.9 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), and steals (1.42 spg), and was an MVP candidate before injuries plagued his season. Without injuries, those lottery Wizards would make the playoffs. But an 18-win improvement season is just not good enough, I guess.
I only bring up his player story because the next season highlights who he was as a general manager. While Jordan was unfazed by injuries, he was nowhere near the MVP hopes that were short-lived in his comeback season - the lack of talent around him was not enough to risk causing an injury from playing hard. So knowing Jordan, no one heard about this more than 1st overall pick, Kwame Brown. Let's just say the old ways of breaking down a player didn’t work for the first high school player ever to be selected No.1.
Jordan would bully him in front of players and coaches, intentionally embarrass him at training, scorn him directly to the media, constantly threaten to “beat your ass”, and we’re not talking beat him on the court.
As soon as Kwame understandably lost all his confidence, he went to play for Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. Ouch.
Jordan made it clear upon signing that his influence would be felt throughout the organization and that “until we get ourselves on track everybody is disposable,” as he declared to the media.
I guess MJ meant himself because, after three seasons as the team president (even if that wasn’t technically his title as a player), MJ got the sack. From drafting Kwame Brown to making him cry (literally), hiring a coach with no experience (Leonard Hamilton), trading a young and promising Rip Hamilton for a past his prime Jerry Stackhouse (who didn’t like MJ either) all the way to the 93-153 record, MJ was done and on to better things?
The Charlotte Bobcats turned ecstatic Hornets.
Even that word sends shivers down my spine. ‘Charlotte Bobcats’. After Jordan purchased a minority stake in the team, becoming the team’s ‘managing member of basketball operations,’ the fans would soon regret the day they chose or were bestowed with allegiance for the Hornets.
The best really did manage to do his worst.
This section could go on for pages but a quick summary would include, drafting Adam Morrison at three, trading for DeSagana Diop, having the worst record ever (7-59) only to draft Michael Kid-Gilchrist at two, trading Gerald Wallace, lowballing Kemba Walker’s contract. But hey, they look okay now?
Jordan’s name should be thrown in with James Dolan (Knicks), Vivek Ranadivé (Kings), and Alex Martin (Magic) as one of the worst owners in professional basketball. After 20 seasons in the front office, they only now have a formidable team for the future.