With the league about to end it’s first official week locked out, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of scrambling for a solution. The players want to keep their money and the owners want it back while the agents stare down the league and the players union.
When did I walk into a Mexican standoff Quentin Tarantino style?
Hopefully the lockout doesn’t actually end like a Tarantino standoff with everyone dead, but as of now that’s not an option that is off the table. But there may be one person who can bridge the gap between the players and the owners because he was/is both. That man is none other than Michael Jordan himself.
It’s an interesting position to be in, Jordan’s is. He is a former player and probably the best to ever play the game. He re-branded the league and took over like no one had before. He re-popularized basketball and took it to a level it had never ever seen and set the stage for the TNT, ESPN and ABC coverage we have today. But as it all crumbles before the world, the man who helped build this world may be the one who can also save it.
Jordan holds the key to viewing this debacle from both sides of the isle. You have the former player in him, but you also have the owner he is now and the fact he owns one of the teams heavily concerned with the lockout. Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats have notoriously been one of the NBA’s worst teams since it’s birth. They have had one playoff appearance and haven’t been able to draft or sign a legitimate star to take them to the next level.
With Jordan’s knowledge of being a superstar and being the owner of a struggling NBA team, he may be able to appeal to both sides equally and try and bridge the gap.
However, some may see his attempt as selfish as he himself was once the face of the league and would now be telling players to lay off of that mantra. There is no doubt that since Jordan, the number of ‘superstars’, whether they actually are or not, has risen to an intense level.
Guys like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and even Derrick Rose, top a list of names considered to be superstar quality. But that is exactly what got the NBA into this mess. Every owner who sees a young, talented kid wants to pay him to be the next Jordan. Look at how the fat contracts Micheal Redd, Andrei Kirlenko, Darius Miles and Eddy Curry turned out. Teams are in the red because they over pay for potential superstar talent out of fear that if they don’t pull the trigger they could miss out on the next Jordan-esque player.
This may prove to be a fatal flaw in Jordan trying to glue the two sides back together, but if there is one guy who we know is capable of amazing things it’s Jordan. Plus how much of an ego boost would it be to fix the league on the court 20 years ago and then fix it again 20 years later off the court?