A NEW ERA FOR HIS AIR­NESS

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - DAILY DEUCE -

Michael Jor­dan’s drive and im­mense phys­i­cal tal­ent made him an NBA su­per­star. His star­dom and shrewd­ness helped him make mil­lions in busi­ness.

His lat­est ven­ture will test his tal­ents and skills like no other.

NBA com­mis­sioner David Stern said Satur­day he ex­pects Jor­dan to be ap­proved as ma­jor­ity owner of the Char­lotte Bob­cats by the end of next month. Min­utes be­fore his exclusive ne­go­ti­at­ing win­dow ex­pired late Fri­day night, Jor­dan struck a deal with owner Bob John­son to take over the money-los­ing team in his home state.

It puts the big­gest bas­ket­ball star of his gen­er­a­tion in charge of a sixyear-old team that’s never made the play­offs, has strug­gled to win over fans and has more than $150 mil­lion in debt.

Can Jor­dan’s streak of busi­ness suc­cess con­tinue?

“If he’s go­ing to be an ab­sen­tee owner, just like Bob was, it’s not go­ing to work,” said Felix Sa­bates, a NASCAR team owner who also holds a mi­nor­ity stake in the Bob­cats. “I think if Michael makes a com­mit­ment and shows ded­i­ca­tion, he can be very suc­cess­ful. He’s a big icon in this part of the coun­try.”

An icon that has been rarely seen. He’s been a part-owner of the Bob­cats with the fi­nal say on all bas­ket­ball de­ci­sions since 2006. But Jor­dan has kept a low pro­file, rarely at­tend­ing prac­tices or games, tak­ing no role in mar­ket­ing and leav­ing the day-to-day op­er­a­tions to a team of as­sis­tants.

But for­mer Hous­ton Rock­ets ex­ec­u­tive Ge­orge Pos­to­los, who had an own­er­ship group to­gether to buy the team be­fore Jor­dan swooped in at the last minute, thinks the deal shows Jor­dan re­ally wanted the team.

CHUCK BUR­TON | THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Michael Jor­dan, who talked with Char­lotte’s Stephen Jack­son ear­lier this sea­son, could have a much more in­flu­en­tial role as team owner.

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