With his team just two losses from setting a record for NBA futility, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was called out Wednesday by the team’s former coach for his handling of the woebegone franchise.
New SMU head coach Larry Brown, who was hired in Charlotte by Jordan and coached from 2008-10, said on the Dan Patrick Radio Show Wednesday that he had little interaction with the NBA legend, instead communicating with him through intermediaries.
"I love the guy, think he’s brilliant, but he’s around people who don’t have a clue. And they won’t challenge him. And the more you challenge him, the more you get from him," said the 71-year-old Brown, who officially reentered the college coaching ranks last week after more than two decades in the NBA.
"It was almost like there were spies wondering what you were doing and getting back to him," Brown lamented. "A coach, a GM and a president all have to be attached at the hip."
Jordan, who has overseen the team’s basketball operations since 2006 and bought a controlling stake in the franchise in March 2010, quickly disputed the criticisms in an interview with The Charlotte Observer.
"He had a lot of input on whatever we did. I never sidestepped him in making a decision. … The owner, the coach and the general manager should be able to all disagree. I’d like to think that’s the healthiest approach," said the 49-year-old Jordan, who many consider to be the sport’s greatest player.
Jordan particularly objected to the fellow North Carolina Tar Heel’s suggestion of spying.
"I’m pretty sure he’s talking about (general manager) Rod Higgins and (head athletic trainer) Steve Stricker, and I don’t think that’s an accurate description of either one of them," Jordan said.
The Bobcats are 7-57 heading into the final two games of the lockout-shortened season, having lost 21 in a row. If they lose both, they will set the record for lowest winning percentage in NBA history.
The mark is held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73, achieving the lowest ever win total over a full 82-game season.
Since entering the league in 2004-05, the Bobcats have had just one winning season and have never won a playoff game.