30th April, 2012
Michael Jordan’s Number 23 has long been synonymous with greatness. Now that number has a completely different meaning for him.
Jordan watched from his luxury box, as his Charlotte Bobcats team lost their 23rd consecutive game by 104-84 to New York Knicks and finished the shrunken season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106).
That means the man recognized globally as the greatest basketball player ever is the not-so-proud owner of the worst NBA team ever.
A spectacular resume that includes six NBA championships and five league MVP awards would also include one very forgettable season for the record book.
It had been 39 years since an NBA team finished with a worse winning percentage than the Bobcats. In a full season, the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers finished 9-73 (.110).
In this lockout-shortened regular season, the Bobcats finished a woeful 7-59 – and they are every bit as bad as the numbers indicate.
They’re last in league scoring and shooting percentage. They lost 22 games by 20 points or more. It’s hard to decide what’s worse, their offense or their defense.
This year’s Bobcats were everything Jordan wasn’t as a player – unproductive, uncompetitive and unwatchable.
Jordan told the Charlotte Observer recently that he knew this was going to be a trying year, but didn’t expect it would be this bad.
“But did we want to chase the most pingpong balls (in the May 30 draft lottery)? No way,” Jordan told the newspaper. “Ever since I’ve owned the team I think we’ve made some very positive moves on the business side. We had to make a difficult decision to turn over the talent. This year the talent we had didn’t respond, but that doesn’t cause me to turn my back on the plan.”
While Jordan was sticking to his plan, the Bobcats were painful to watch.