By Matt Rogers
As a player, Michael Jordan is regarded by many as the best basketball player to ever play the game. As an NBA executive for the Charlotte Hornets, formerly the Bobcats, he is not regarded as highly. What Michael Jordan the player and Michael Jordan the owner have in common is the standoffish attitude toward the media in order to have control of his image.
This sense of image control and attitude toward the media have followed Jordan throughout his evolution from player into owner of an NBA franchise. In a recent interview with Darrell Rovell of ESPN, Jordan gave the reporter and viewers of ESPN a look inside the locker room of the Charlotte Hornets. He also gave insight on the team’s off-season acquisition of shooting guard Lance Stephenson, formerly of the Indiana Pacers. When asked how he managed to recruit Stephenson away from the Pacers and to the Hornets, Jordan said he told Stephenson that “we [the Hornets] need someone that could compete against LeBron, simple as that.”
This type of response from Jordan is not surprising given that he won 6 NBA titles in his career as an NBA player for the Chicago Bulls. It also is not surprising because it shows that Jordan understands and respects the caliber of player that LeBron James has grown into over his career, one that many media personalities and fans compare to Michael Jordan. This comment also shows that Jordan may see more in Stephenson as a player than just the antics that most casual viewers of the NBA witnessed during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals series last year against LeBron and the Miami Heat.
Not only has Jordan seemingly ventured away from his perceived comfort zone and given an exclusive, all-access interview with Rovell, he has also tried his hand in social media in recent days. This is substantial because Jordan has been anything but an advocate for social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. It seem as though Jordan is retracting from this stance though because he has been using the Hornets’ official Twitter account to make announcements about the team. One thing that has caught the media’s eye that Jordan used the Hornets’ account to post is a response to a post from PGA tour golfer Keegan Bradley. Bradley posted “MJ how does it feel to get beat by me everyday at bears club?! #GoHornets.” Jordan responded by posting “Last time I looked, you were wearing MY shoes. You don’t see me wearing Air Keegans…”
These types of fun social media posts and exclusive interviews are a rarity from Michael Jordan. He will probably remain the guy that keeps most of his inner thoughts close to his chest because that is the way he has always been, as a player, and so far, as an owner.