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Non-Football: Jordan's Return Bad for Wizards


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The thought that Michael Jordan will come back in 2002 to play at age 39 is certainly striking on its face. And for a franchise that has not had a single thing to show its fans for the past 20+ years, on first glance the return of Jordan would seem to be a delight.

But looking at the situation more closely the return of Jordan is ill-timed to help the Wizards.

First, there are no real building blocks here now that Jordan can use to put together a good team for 2002 and the really good free agents won't be available until 2003. Jordan would have to play ANOTHER year in addition to next to draw these players with the idea of teaming up with the Legend.

Second, if Jordan does attempt to comeback this year, he will not wait until 2003 to pick up some running mates. Most likely he will trade the younger players the team does have such as Richard Hamilton and the #1 pick as well for veterans that can help him for next season.

But where will those players be in 3-5 years when Hamilton may be a 20 point per game scorer in the NBA and that #1 pick, if the right one, could turn out to be the next Kevin Garnett?

Likely retired along with Michael after going 42-40 or 45-37 for one year. And that is looking at the situation optimistically.

So far Jordan has been working out for 6 months and has already sustained his second batch of injuries, the broken ribs from last week. Remember just a few weeks ago he had to stop practicing because of back spasms?

No, Jordan is much more help to the Wizards as the GM, doing what he promised to do, which is to build a consistent winner on the court.

Consistent winners are not built with 38 and 39 year old players at its core.

The team already jettisoned 34 year old Rod Strickland and is primed to release 35 year old Mitch Richmond, after both showed diminished skills from just a season or two ago.

That should be a lesson to anyone thinking a geriatric 1984 Olympic team revival of Jordan, Ewing and say Stockton is going to dethrone Shaq and the Lakers or dominate the NBA.

They had a great run. Jordan perhaps the greatest in history.

Let's leave it at that.

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Guest Trevor

Come on now ... I sincerely doubt Jordan would trade young, future starters, to get some old pros to play for a few years.

Why would you doubt that? If he comes back he's coming back to try and win now, not to rebuild.

I hope he does come back, so that Kobe, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and the rest can take it at him. I never liked MJ, so watching him and his team look mediocre or worst would be much fun.

[edited.gif by Trevor on June 19, 2001.]

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Jordan needs to look to Jerry West as an example of how to transition to being a GM. Perhaps there is no other example of a former HOF player who went on to match his playing career with his performance in the front office.

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When was the last time the Wizards got this much press? Not counting player arrests! This Jordan thing can only be good. The Vets he brings in will be signed to min. contracts. Look for him to bring a younger/middle aged star as well. (Can you say Grant Hill?) Either way it will be a more interesting team to watch next year than it's been in a long while.

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Vince Carter doesn t play defense and of the remaining 2 McGrady would be more competitive. After kobe is shown up like he was against Iverson he would guard the point guard to avoid being shown up consistently.

I wouldn t mind him coming back why not have a season or two of excitement from a local pro b ball team? It's not like we haven't won something in 20 years.

WE can still draft for the future he just rides the bench

for a season or two andif we can get a Jamison, Carter or whoever thats nice but lets get real.

It will take star power to get free agents here. Why pay those high as heck DC state taxes when you can go to lovely Florida, Texas and pay no taxes at all?

The incentive will be either the chance of playin with MJ or Falk hooking the players up with some lucrative deals with nike,Hanes, etc to come here and I say players because i has to be a package deal to draw free agents to a winning situation


Yes I'm paid to think and I need a raise

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I would prefer to see the Wiz focus on rebuilding with the young talent they have now. If Jordan comes back and fails (which is possible), he'll hang it up after one season and we'll be stuck with the team built for him. This will be devastating if we've traded the #1 pick for a bunch of vets.

Let MJ go to Utah. I think the 'Dream Team' reunion might be pretty interesting. Beat the Lakers? I don't know. But it'd be entertaining.

I read in TSN that Eddie Curry, the 6'10" high schooler can do a standing back flip. I'd say we take him. I know that high schoolers are a terrible risk (by the time they progress, they're elsewhere, like McGrady).

And change the weenie name back to The Bullets.

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Geez Trevor, did Jordan run over your dog or something? smile.gif

I've got to agree with Kefka - regardless of whether he wants to play another season or two, Jordan wants very much to succeed in the next level of basketball as an executive. He's not an idiot, and he knows that trading young talent for old (like for example, say, oh I don't know, maybe WEBBER FOR RICHMOND AND THORPE!?!? angry.gif ) will only put the team in another hole. If he does trade Rip or some other youngster, it will be to get another young player or draft choices to fulfill other needs. Having two players that fill essentially the same role like Hamilton and Alexander is a luxury the team can't afford right now.

I don't think anyone, MJ included, expects that a comeback by Jordan and a couple of cronies would lead to an instant championship, but it would be a helluva show. If he does come back, I for one am going to relax and have fun with it. And don't count on him being embarassed by the Kobes and Iversons; if Darrell Green can play cornerback at 41, why shouldn't a similarly phenomenal, well-cared for athlete with no serious injury history be able to play at a high level in the NBA?

[edited.gif by Fitzman on June 19, 2001.]

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I think the real question is: how do you feel about the Bull.. er Wizards, and their prospects as a franchise for the future?

If you came up with them like I did, harkening back to the glory days of Unseld, Hayes, Chenier, Kupchak, et al, then the wait for them to right the ship and become a competitive franchise again has been interminable.

We've suffered through the freak shows, Bol and Bogues, the nightmare lottery luck, inept management and indifferent coaching, and an owner that at times doesn't seem to have a clue.

Then Jordan comes along, promising to get the franchise back on track and slowly but inexorably do the right thing and build a contender. He is getting us out from under insane contracts so that we have more personnel options. He's added the lustre his own name to our organization in order to help remove the hard-luck image that we have to date and give us a serious tone. And with the overall #1 pick it appeared that we were finally back on track.

Now this. A return by Jordan, possibly to include some other past-their-prime players. Entertaining? Undoubtably. Sell seats? For sure. Good for the long term health of the club? I don't think so.

It's gonna be a freak show - the NBA and it's quasi Globetrotter team. And when the day-in, day-out pounding from the real players on the other teams takes it's toll, and Jordan et al remember exactly why it was they retired in the first damn place, then all that will remain is the Wizards and a wasted season, likely more, in their quest to recover NBA respectability by becoming a real contender.

Sure it will be entertaining, for everybody except for long time Wizards fans. For us, it'll likely mean more years of our team being a joke.

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