It's rare to see Michael Jordan gives interviews on his job performance these days, so his exclusive sit-down with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer is pretty illuminating. Jordan touched on a number of topics relating to his ownership of the decrepit Charlotte Bobcats, who would finish with the worst winning percentage in NBA history if they drop their last two games.
Mostly, though, Jordan talked about the comments former coach Larry Brown made earlier in the day. Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Brown said what many people have indicated at other times: Jordan is surrounded by yes men that do his bidding and try to undermine his peers. Jordan hasn't always responded to these kinds of criticisms, but he did this time.
Via Bonnell's story:
"The idea that people can’t do that is just wrong. Curtis (Polk, team vice chairman) has worked with me for over 20 years and he’s never had a problem telling me, ‘no.’ Rod (Higgins, president of basketball operations) has no problem telling me no. Fred (Whitfield, team president) has no problem telling me ‘no.’ And Rich (Cho, the team’s general manager) is about as direct and candid a person as you’ll ever meet.’’
It's tough to know what to make of all of this. Brown is a disgruntled former employee that has shot off in a similar matter before when his bosses tune out his many complaints about his roster, so it's easy to dismiss him. But his criticisms aren't new ones. Similar things were said about Jordan during his time with the Wizards and even when he was still a player with the Bulls. I doubt Polk, Higgins and Whitfield are going so far as to tap phone lines and "spy" on their coaches, but they also have been accused in the past of rising to their positions due to Jordan's own cronyism.
There's something to take from both sides here. Brown can be controlling, and Jordan can listen to his friends too much. Both have a lot to do with why the Bobcats are where they are right now.