View Full Version : Jordan trying to get kobe to play for bucks?

06-29-2003, 11:07 AM
Posted on Fri, Jun. 27, 2003

Believe it or not, Jordan's way of thinking obvious in Bucks' draft
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - Anyone who doesn't believe Michael Jordan's fingerprints are already all over the Milwaukee Bucks needs a slightly larger magnifying glass. The evidence, beginning with the draft-night selection of T.J. Ford and continuing Friday with a blatant salary-dumping trade, is removing all reasonable doubt.

It is Jordan who wanted Ford, the undersized point guard from Texas. And it's Jordan's history of payroll slashing that corresponds with the motivation for the deal that sent Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson to Minnesota for Joe Smith and the soon-to-be-released Anthony Peeler.

The Bucks' payroll, a bloated $57 million last season, has already fallen into the high $40 million range, ostensibly to provide Jordan with the future flexibility he will need to reshape the roster. And more cuts are sure to come as Jordan works to close what is expected to be about a $185 million purchase of the Bucks. The sale, which could be announced within the coming days, may take a month or more to complete.

By then, you may need a Milwaukee-Washington cross-reference guide to identify the respective front offices.

Bucks general manager Ernie Grunfeld could soon be with the Wizards. Jordan could bring in trusted Wizards associates Rod Higgins and Fred Whitfield to serve as general manager and assistant general manager of the Bucks. Longtime Jordan confidant Curtis Polk could be installed as president of the organization.

If the sale is consummated, no one is sure if even George Karl's $7 million salary would make him immune from the sweeping changes that would follow. If Jordan's Tar Heel roots with Karl run decidedly shallow, or if Jordan insists on importing Wizards assistants such as Patrick Ewing or old friends like John Bach, Karl's buyout could be a provision of the sale.

As owner and managing partner, Jordan would have complete control of roster decisions. Already, there is speculation that the acquisition of Smith may have deeper implications. As one of Kevin Garnett's closest friends, perhaps Smith could influence one of the game's best players once Garnett becomes a free agent. And when Toni Kukoc's $8.5 million salary comes off the books, the stripped-down Bucks would be in position to make a market run.

The history of Jordan's inability to attract star-quality players while with the Wizards would have been rewritten had Kobe Bryant been available. Bryant apparently wanted to play for or with Jordan, and now comes word that Bryant may opt out of his contract with the Lakers after next season. Kobe in a Bucks uniform? Come on. With Jordan's impending purchase of the Bucks, let's deal with one improbability at a time.

Although Jordan failed in some regards during his two-year tenure as a Washington administrator, he wasn't afraid to eat deadwood contracts. With Smith established at power forward, combined with the bargain-basement contracts of Jamal Sampson and Marcus Haislip, there is a better than even chance that the Bucks have seen the last of Jason Caffey and / or Anthony Mason.

If Jordan does nothing else during his first year as owner, such a move would qualify him as an early success.

Jordan would create wholesale changes within the organization because he is determined to make his latest venture a success, and he apparently believes he could do so only by surrounding himself with trusted people. Given his humbling ouster in Washington, "trust" will become the operative word for the new order of the Bucks.

And for the kind of money he will pay for the privilege of never again being fired, it's safe to assume Jordan's sense of entitlement will not be questioned at 3501 S. Lake Drive.

That would change the balance of power in both the East and the West. Shaq better get that ol' bootcamp religion or watch Kobe head east. "It doesn't get any better than that."

06-29-2003, 11:25 AM

Man I wish the conferences would balance out - Kobe going to the east would be great

06-29-2003, 12:13 PM
Only if kobe wasn't replaced by say KG next season.

06-29-2003, 09:15 PM
i agree, mffl. it would be great if we could restore balance in the conferences. i don't think kobe going east will do that though. a step in the right direction, certainly.