Former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas recently had his say on why Michael Jordan ended up agreeing to sell the Charlotte Hornets in a $3 billion deal. Arenas claimed that due to the lack of attractiveness of Charlotte as a city, building a superstar team is almost impossible. Michael Jordan’s decision-making and overall performance have often come under scrutiny since he took over the team back in 2006. He had previously been the General Manager at the Washington Wizards for 2 years after being appointed back in 2000.
Among a series of questionable decisions that also included a third return from retirement, Jordan selected Kwame Brown as the first overall pick from the 2001 NBA draft.
The Hornets have struggled to challenge for the Playoffs consistently and have only played three first-round series since 2009-10. Gilbert Arenas, who had previously defended Jordan’s decision to pick Brown, again came to his rescue. Arenas claimed that MJ had to be incredibly lucky in order to have a chance of building a team at Charlotte.
However, Arenas argues that if we were to revisit Jordan’s draft picks and analyze the alternatives, it becomes clear that the outcomes might not have been significantly different. He suggests that players like Tyson Chandler or Pau Gasol, who had long and successful careers, were not necessarily considered number-one picks at that time. Arenas defends Jordan’s decision, emphasizing that it is unfair to fault him for selecting a player who was widely regarded as the top choice at the time.
However, Gilbert Arenas believes that the Bulls legend was also left without a choice. Arenas thinks that the fact that players do not want to be in Charlotte, Sacramento, is a major reason why building a team is not possible:
Was Michael Jordan’s time at Charlotte Hornets unfairly criticized?There is little doubt that Jordan still commands huge respect among upcoming players. While Charlotte might be a difficult city to build a team in, recent years have proved that a transformation is possible. Despite the criticism surrounding Michael Jordan’s draft choices and his tenure as an owner and general manager, it is important to acknowledge the positive aspects of his decision-making.
With the 2020 NBA Draft’s 3rd overall pick LaMelo Ball as the central piece, finished the 2021-22 season with a winning record. They were unlucky to be missing Ball last season and were Playoff contenders before his injury.