Michael Jordan’s Transition: From Owning the Game to Owning the Charlotte Hornets

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Kemba Walker has led his Hornets on a huge late season run, making them one of the hottest teams in basketball. 

David Ekaireb, Assistant Sports Editor

In 2010, Michael Jordan acquired majority ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, making him the first former NBA player to own the majority of a franchise team. While the public praises Jordan as a player, he has been under much scrutiny as a franchise owner. 

Since gaining control, Charlotte has only made two playoff appearances, in 2010 and 2013, both ending swiftly after losing in the first round. However, now that Jordan has endured his first handful of years as a novice owner, he seems to be over the hump as the organization seems to be back on track. 

During Jordan’s first few years of ownership, the team declined in wins and missed the playoffs three straight years from 2011 to 2013. However, now in the 2015-2016 season, the Hornets are now slated to be the No. 6 seed in the East and appear to be stronger than ever. How has Jordan gotten the team back on track? The key has been in his restructuring and rebuilding of the team roster. He has put together a lineup that has depth in its big men, youth in its guards and balance in its rotation. 

The Hornets’ distribution of depth and talent is reminiscent of, dare I say it, Golden State. Charlotte has three formidable centers splitting time on the court, at around 20 minutes apiece. They have the very young and talented Cody Zeller, as well as the big names of Al Jefferson and Spencer Hawes coming off the bench. Again, the power forward position is strong. Starting is veteran Marvin Williams, who was dominant for years on the Atlanta Hawks, and backing him up is highly praised rookie Frank Kaminsky along with Tyler Hansborough. At the small forward position, Nicholas Batum is at the height of his game, leading the team in assists at 5.7 and also pouring in 15 points per game. Batum is backed up by Jeremy Lamb; who in his fourth year with the league is averaging 9.3 points and 3.9 assists. Lastly, at point guard, team superstar Kemba Walker brings the ball up the court. Courtney Lee, who starts at the shooting position, has been consistent at 10 points per game, and one time Knicks sensation, Jeremy Lin brings life to the team coming off the bench. 

 The fact that the Hornets are being compared to the Warriors, the unquestionably best team in the league and possibly the best of all time, shows how far the organization has come and how great Jordan’s ownership is finally panning out to be. Especially in the last couple months, the Hornets have been red hot and should make quite a bit of noise come postseason. Over the last two months, the Hornets have gone 18-5, taking down quality teams such as Indiana, Houston, Miami and San Antonio. I think for the first time since Jordan took ownership, the Hornets will advance into the second round and will strive towards making the Eastern Conference Finals. If they can acquire one more missing piece over the offseason, we could be looking at a future 2017 NBA Finals competitor. With the star-laden 2016 offseason on the horizon, look for the Hornets to make significant acquisitions.