It’s a pretty safe bet that if you make Mark Cuban look like the most refined and respected franchise owner in the room, you are probably not the shining beacon of NBA ownership. Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street (link is to video) in an interview intended to be about the league’s 9% labor reduction, Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson set a new record for feet in his mouth.
Johnson, who made his fortune primarily as the founder of Black Entertainment Television, opened the segment by making a joke about his team not being good, which is actually true, but certainly not confidence-inspiring coming from the owner. Later in the segment, when asked what he was doing about ticket prices in the NBA, a question Cuban answered directly, Johnson had this to say (after the jump):
“Well, here’s what I did. I gave Michael Jordan a blank check, and he exceeded it. But, ahh, but we also have Larry Brown as our head coach now, and Larry is one of the better, best coaches in the NBA, and when you put Larry Brown and Michael Jordan together, to run a team in Charlotte, both North Carolineans, I don’t, I don’t think you can do better than that..”
Where to begin? Michael Jordan hardly “exceeded” a blank check when the ‘Cats are one of the few teams in the league under the salary cap. Larry Brown may be a great coach, but his reputation lately is to sign for a boatload of money, become ill, and quit when he gets bored. Pat Riley thinks the guy quits too easily. Not exactly the stability a young team needs. And he “can’t do better” than getting an incompetent guy with little interest in success and a sick old man who quits to run his team just because they’re from the same state? Yikes!
Johnson continues the idiocracy, calling a basketball court “the field” and one of his own players (and yet another UNC product), Sean May, by the wrong name. He never mentions ticket prices, which is what he was asked about. Yay Bobcats!