CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A relaxed Michael Jordan broke into a wide smile as he sat at his desk Thursday night amid his whirlwind week of realizing a longtime goal of becoming an NBA owner.
Soon, though, that steely resolve that defined his superstar playing career peaked through as he fielded a question about his commitment to turn the Charlotte Bobcats from a money-losing, non-playoff team into a winner in both areas.
“It’s motivating,” the six-time NBA champion said of the naysayers who joke he’ll be more worried about tee times than season ticket renewals. “I’ve never been asked to be out at the forefront of an organization. I never had the financial commitment to do that. Now I have. Now I’m involved. How can I not, when I’m owning 80 percent of the basketball team, not put my face on the organization?”
Jordan’s $275 million purchase of the club from Bob Johnson was approved by the rest of the league’s owners on Wednesday. The North Carolina native spent his first full day on the job insisting he’s ready to “dive in with my sleeves rolled up” to turn around the six-year-old franchise, while downplaying the significance of becoming the first former player to own an NBA team.
“I’m not wearing that on my sleeve,” he said. “For me, everybody just wants to see us win. Doesn’t matter if it’s me. Doesn’t matter if it’s Bob. Doesn’t matter if it’s anybody else. I’m happy to be in this position and given this opportunity by Bob.