The following are some excerpts from a Q&A that Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats did with the Charlotte Observer.
Q: You spoke to the team Monday. What did you say?
MJ: Well I watched a couple of practices and one of the things I was very happy about and I really praised the coaching staff in terms of was the method they were going about teaching our kids, teaching our players. Because a lot of those players, a lot of those things in the past were not being seen as basketball players. I got so excited because these are the things I went through -- some of the drills, some of the fundamentals.
I think those have been missing in some of the preseason activity. Why coaches have skipped steps in the past I don’t understand and especially because our talent coming out is a lot younger than it used to be. And this is from a guy [Jordan himself] who had been in college three years, and I still had to go through that process.
I felt good about what Coach Dunlap was actually doing, all the little things that seemingly have been our biggest issue in the past.
Q: Little things like what?
MJ: Boxing out. Making good passes. Utilizing each other’s talents. Understanding basic basketball. Pivots. Things that basketball fans don’t see as often, but if you look at good teams, those are good things that happen in the game. And one of the reasons I felt compelled to speak to the team was, ‘Look, I endorse what coach is talking about.'
Unfortunately we had some guys who were not receiving it that way. Either they were not, they didn’t want to do it. And I felt the need to step in and say, ‘Look, this is how we’re going to do this. The culture of what’s happening in Charlotte is going to be this. Either you buy in or you’re not going to be here.’
You can’t sit here and look yourself in the mirror and say we don’t need this stuff. If that was the case, we shouldn’t have been a 7-59 team. So in essence when you’re a 7-59 team, you go back to the basics, you go back to try and figure out a way, OK, we need to do this thing the right way. Either you buy in or you’re not a part of this whole process.
MJ: So you had heard some of the players grumbling about the 3-4 hour practices?
A: Yeah, I heard that and I saw it. Which is one of the reasons I went to watch practice. And I didn’t see anything that was different from when I played the game of basketball. I think the perception is a little bit different, maybe the expectation is a little bit different and this is where we’ve got to hold firm. This is what championship teams do. If we did it in Chicago and we became a championship team, why wouldn’t we want to do that here? If you turn your nose up to it, then maybe you need to look in the mirror and see that you’re a part of the problem…
You can read the entire Q&A here: http://goo.gl/gxxVU