Last month, when Bobcats owner Michael Jordan talked to a paper in Australia about the lockout, our initial reaction was to start a fine countdown. David Stern said he was going to fine any team executives who talked publicly about the lockout, and when it comes to fines Stern is a man of his word.
What did he say that was so offensive?
“The model we’ve been operating under is broken. We have 22 or 23 teams losing money, (so) I think we have gotta come to some kind of understanding in this partnership that we have to realign,” Jordan said.
“I can’t say so much … but I know the owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can co-exist as partners. We need a lot of financial support throughout the league as well as revenue sharing to keep this business afloat.
“We have stars like (Andrew) Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team.”
MJ didn’t say much, but he said enough.
Jordan is considered a hawk in these negotiations, wanting a change to league’s economic system and better revenue sharing. That’s because he owns a team in Charlotte — a good basketball market poisoned by George Shinn (who then took over the Hornets and ran them into the ground, some of the owners problems are their own doing). Jordan needs a lot of help to turn his franchise around. If a $100,000 fine is the price of that, he’d live with it.