“Let’s not get it wrong; he was an asshole. He was a jerk. He crossed the line numerous times.”
This is how Will Perdue described Michael Jordan in an episode of The Last Dance. In fact, this is how most of his Bulls teammates would describe him. But with what he was trying to accomplish, they would all agree on one thing; MJ was a helluva teammate.
The guys he played in Washington with would probably disagree. They hated sharing the locker room with MJ. And it wasn’t about them not being able to meet Michael’s demands. It was about him not being able to overshadow his assholenes with championship rings. It made all the verbal abuse not worth it, and players were sick of it.
But what’s Jordan like as an owner? Christian Wood, a former Hornet, has the insight into MJ, the executive. He recalls checking into a game and getting scored on immediately. He looked at the bench and saw Michael Jordan sitting there.
He was like, ‘Yo, get your skinny ass to the weight room. Don’t let that motherfu*ker score on you; you’re way more talented than that, come on.‘Christian Wood, The Ringer
This happened a few months after a Hornets staffer had escorted Wood into Jordan’s office, where the two spent some time looking over Wood’s G League film. “He starts telling me what I need to work on,” Wood recalled. “It meant a lot because it’s, like, Michael Jordan. You wouldn’t think that Mike is sitting here watching a G League game on you.”
So what’s Jordan like as an owner? Equally verbal, equally demanding, and still kind of a jerk. But obviously not as involved as he used to be as a player. And despite him being labeled as one of the worst owners in the NBA, when Michael talks, all the Charlotte players listen.
That means that another Washington situation is off the table. In Charlotte, it’s not about Michael overshadowing his assholeness with organizational accomplishments. It’s about him sharing his wisdom with the players and them trying to meet the standards imposed. And there are no hard feelings in the process.
The players know they’re in the presence of basketball greatness, and they know how he operates. No executive of the year awards are needed to justify the nuisance Michael Jordan can be. Him being the GOAT is good enough vindication.