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kriD
05-12-2006, 08:44 AM
NBA royalty running a team? It could happen

By Ed Sherman
[Chicago] Tribune staff reporter

ATLANTA -- Magic Johnson always is looking to expand his business empire. One way is to own an NBA franchise.

And get this: He would like to buy in with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

"If the right franchise became available, trust me, I'd make the calls," Johnson said.

"What better situation for us than to do it together?"

Johnson said he hadn't had any substantial discussions with his close friends about owning an NBA team. But judging from his talk, he has given the concept some thought.

Johnson envisions a setup that would have Jordan running the basketball operations. He would handle the business side and Barkley would be, well, Barkley.

"Charles could handle the sponsors and dealing with people," Johnson said in an off-the-air conversation while working as an analyst for TNT this week.

"And if we needed somebody to talk harsh to the team, he could do that."

Johnson believes the idea makes sense because he and Jordan want to own and operate an NBA franchise. Johnson currently holds a small ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.

After retiring, the Lakers great founded the Johnson Development Corp. His firm owns movie theaters, Starbucks franchises and health clubs among other holdings that have made an impact in urban areas.

"If I owned a team, I'd have to get somebody with Michael's skills to run the basketball side," Johnson said. "If he bought into a team, he would have to find somebody like me to make the company profitable. It would be the perfect marriage."

Johnson said he would give Jordan complete control of the basketball decisions. He wants to concentrate on the business aspect.

"There are no egos here," Johnson said. "I have partners in other businesses. This wouldn't be any different. Michael knows basketball better than anybody. I'd trust him, and he would trust me to make the decisions about money. That's what a partnership is all about."

What if Barkley wanted to be active on the basketball front?

"That would be up to him and Michael to decide," Johnson said. "They're so close, they can run it together."

Johnson knows enough about the NBA business landscape to suggest there are a couple of franchises currently available. But, he says, "they're not the right ones."

Johnson then brought up the idea of bringing an NBA team to Las Vegas.

Calling out across the viewing room, Johnson said, "Hey, Charles, would you be interested in owning a team in Las Vegas?"

"Count me in," said Barkley, who has been known to spend some time in the city.

"Now you know [Commissioner David Stern]," Johnson said.

Johnson has a long way to go to carry out this idea. But the prospect of owning a team with Jordan and Barkley clearly intrigues him.

"What a message it would send," Johnson said.

"It would be unbelievable. I really think we can do it."

Drbio
05-12-2006, 12:32 PM
Those three egos would implode as soon as it became difficult.

TripleDipping
05-12-2006, 01:22 PM
If they ever own a team, mid season they would fire the coach, bench three starters and put themselves in as player/coach.

Dtownsfinest
05-12-2006, 02:49 PM
These are probably 3 of the best players to ever play in the NBA. But basketball greats haven't had much success sitting behind the desk for a sports team. Especially MJ. Doesn't Magic own some of the Lakers? He'd be willing to give that up or will he not have to? I'm pretty sure the NBA won't allow you to own 2 NBA teams though.

fluid.forty.one
05-19-2006, 11:30 AM
that all sounds good to me, id like to see jordan more involved with the nba now adays.