Skip to main content

The NBA's best owns the NBA's worst

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 3:53 PM EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
Basketball legend Michael Jordan, left, is the owner of Charlotte Bobcats, now the worst team in NBA history.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan, left, is the owner of Charlotte Bobcats, now the worst team in NBA history.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Charlotte Bobcats ended the season with a 7-59 record
  • That record is the worst in NBA history
  • "I've come to accept I'll be scrutinized more than any other owner," Jordan tells a newspaper

(CNN) -- Watching the Charlotte Bobcats stumble around the court this year may make the casual fan wonder who is running this beleaguered organization.

Ah ... er, it's Michael Jordan. MJ. His Airness.

After Thursday's 104-84 loss to the New York Knicks, Jordan is now the owner of the worst team in NBA history. It's a feat that may look strange next to all the trophies Jordan garnered in his playing career.

With the loss, the Bobcats end this season with a record of 7-59, finishing with an all-time worst .106 winning percentage.

They take the infamous title from the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers who were 9-73 and had a then record-worst .110 winning percentage.

The dubious distinction has some wondering how the man, widely thought of as the best basketball player of all time, could lead such a lousy team.

Adding to the irony, Jordan was the leader of a Chicago Bulls team back in the 90s that is the winningest team in NBA history, scoring a 72-10 record.

As the Bobcats neared the record this week, Jordan received a chorus of criticism.

Legendary coach Larry Brown, who coached the Bobcats for three seasons under Jordan, joined the chorus saying Jordan has surrounded himself with "yes men" who are hesitant to challenge him.

"He needs more people around him who he has respect for who are not afraid to tell him what's right. That's the one thing I'm disappointed in," Brown said on a radio interview on 'The Dan Patrick Show.'

Jordan, who fired Brown as the Bobcats coach in 2010, vehemently disagreed with that criticism in an interview Wednesday with the Charlotte Observer.

Jordan also acknowledged that his six championships and five Most Valuable Player awards, numerous scoring titles and many other accomplishments as a player adds to the scrutiny he gets as an owner.

"My success will be judged differently ... I've come to accept I'll be scrutinized more than any other owner,'' Jordan said. "I know now that I have to have a tough skin about these things.''

Jordan said he had planned to rebuild the team and knew that it could be a tough season. But he conceded that he never thought it would be this bad.

"This year the talent we had didn't respond, but that doesn't cause me to turn my back on the plan," Jordan told the Charlotte Observer.

There were several issues that plagued the Bobcats this year. The team was hammered by injuries including the teams' best player Corey Maggette, who missed half of the season. Also the Bobcats were forced to play rookies Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo without much practice time because of the lockout-shortened season.

SI: Former champ Walker looks ahead

"It is the perfect storm," said Mike Solarte, sports director of CNN affiliate News 14 Carolina. "It has been a challenge watching the Bobcats night in and night out. There has been very few highs and a lot of lows all season long."

But there is an upside to all the losses. The record guarantees that the Bobcats will have the greatest chance of getting the first pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

And this year's draft features big man Anthony Davis, who is leaving Kentucky and is thought of being able to single-handedly change the fortune of any team that gets him.

But some fans have run out of patience after watching the Bobcats end the season with a 23-game losing streak, Solarte said.

"They do have a plan," said Solarte. "That is what they said all along. But when you have only seven wins nobody wants to hear about the plan. They want to know why you are not winning games now."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
From spectacular action at the Commonwealth Games , to high-speed drama on the race track, here are the week's best sporting images.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
ADVERTISEMENT