Michael Jordan is working hard to turn around both the franchise and the market in Charlotte. Former owner George Shinn stomped on that market then moved the team to New Orleans, and when Robert Johnson resurrected the franchise he didn’t do much to help its reputation in the community and he named the team after himself (the Bobcats).
Michael Jordan is starting to change that.
Getting back the Hornets nickname was one step, putting a competitive basketball team on the court that made the playoffs last season then went out and got Lance Stephenson this summer was the next.
Now how about hosting an All-Star game? Charlotte is going to make a bid for one of the next two that are available, reports the Charlotte Observer.
The Charlotte Hornets plan to formally submit a bid Tuesday to host either the 2017 or 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, a source close to the process said Monday…
While it’s been no secret the Hornets are interested in hosting the annual mid-February event at Time Warner Cable Arena, there are potential complications. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during a March visit to Charlotte that an All-Star bid would be contingent on the city agreeing to various upgrades to the arena.
“It’s part of the understanding here that the building remain state of the art,” Silver said in March. “Nothing dramatic is needed. But certainly an upgrade to the scoreboard, some things with the suites and the lighting.”
The 2015 All-Star Game is in New York/Brooklyn, followed by Toronto in 2016. It is thought that if this year’s ASG goes well it will return to New York in the near future but with the venues reversed (next year Brooklyn hosts the Friday and Saturday events, the main All-Star Game Sunday is at Madison Square Garden).
Charlotte could fit into that mix. This also puts a little pressure on everyone involved with the arena in Charlotte to get the upgrades done.
People have ripped into Jordan the owner, but Roland Lazenby, author of the new Michael Jordan: The Life biography that came out this year, put an interesting spin on that in an interview with PBT saying this is like his playing career where he’s figuring things out quickly.
“He goes to Charlotte and some of his draft picks are called into question. But as time goes on, everybody looks back at Michael the owner, or Michael the executive, and they see that his learning curve is and they see his worth ethic is much more than they realized. He has gone into Charlotte — which is the Chernobyl of the NBA, the old Hornets with George Shinn trashed the place, then the roll out of the Bobcats, which was a horrible roll out, and thanks to that Charlotte was a horrible market.
“I’m sure you saw some of those crowds with Charlotte playing Miami (in the first round of the 2014 playoffs), that place was packed again. It was like the old Hornets. The longer people look at Jordan the owner the more they are going to realize he is there and he is doing a lot better. He is making something happen. People have underestimated him again.”