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A Hall of Fame Wizard?


What? Is that a Wizards jersey at the far end? (Photo courtesy hoopshall)


The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame unveiled a new wing this week for a former Washington Wizard who will get inducted on Sept. 11 in Springfield, Mass. The guy won championships, Olympic gold medals and is widely regarded as the best player to ever play the game. Of course, when he was in Washington, the guy was a shell of his former self, only showed flashes of his greatness and his tenure was an abject failure.

You know who I'm talking about.

Michael Jordan's two-year stint with the Wizards is a piece of the franchise's history that is rarely highlighted and has been buried by some as if it never happened (there are no pictures and little documentation Jordan represented this town in the team's media guide).

Granted, it wasn't Jordan at his gravity-defying, slam-dunking, high-scoring, opponent-demoralizing best. The Wizards were a pretty lousy one-man show and never made the playoffs. Jordan left on horrible terms with Wizards owner Abe Pollin and rarely speaks about that blip in his otherwise illustrious career (When the Miami Heat retired Jordan's No. 23 in 2003, the original jersey Pat Riley raised to the rafters was half Bulls, half Wizards. Today, it's all Bulls).

But if the greatest basketball player ever plays for a team and no one acknowledges it, did it really happen?

No matter how many Jordan Wizards jerseys have been ditched, how many coats of paint have gone over the locker room, there is no getting around the fact that the only reason that Jordan isn't already in the Hall of Fame is because he needed to scratch an itch, ditched a front-office suit and decided to rock the No. 23 one more time.


Please, forget I ever was here. (Nathaniel Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Wizards don't have any intention of retiring Jordan's jersey for many reasons, but mostly because most of Jordan's memorable accomplishments occurred as a member of the Chicago Bulls, the franchise he led to six NBA championships and in front of whose stadium a statue has been erected in his honor. Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, players don't enter Springfield representing one team. But Jordan is synonymous with the Bulls.

Gatorade is currently running a promotion on Facebook, where fans have been asked to vote for Jordan's most memorable moment based on a list of 10 submitted by sports reporters (Voting ends on Aug. 31). Surprisingly, there aren't any mentions of his days as an MCI Center resident.

I was covering the Atlanta Hawks when Jordan was with the Wizards, so I never really got a feel of what people thought about him while he was here. I can only imagine that it was an awkward period in the history of the franchise; a time when the Wizards went from being an afterthought to the forefront for all of the wrong reasons. Jordan was the story. The Wizards were merely the distraction.

I know some felt that Jordan helped raise the profile of the Wizards, allowing Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison to help carry the brand to playoff heights. Some others believe that Jordan's presence stunted the development of players like Kwame Brown and Richard Hamilton.

Since there isn't much going on, I just wanted to open up the forum to thoughts about the Jordan era. How do you remember it? What are your top 10 moments in the Michael Jordan-Wizards era? What was his ultimate moment?

By Michael Lee  |  August 6, 2009; 11:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Thoughts on Brendan, LeBron and Rashard

Comments

1st!!!

Posted by: Rocky420 | August 6, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

CHEAP ABE used MJ to sell out the place and when he got done playing fired the guy!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

One of the keys to MJ's mega-success was Phil Jackson, who was a strong counter-weight to Jordan's outsized ego and frequently bullying personality. Collins was more of a Jordan-lacky and absent any controls, the MJ era featured more of his destructive tendencies than his out the court heroics. He was always angry, everyone was intimidated, and little good happened. The whole thing ended horribly but there was no good ending to this. Polin did what he thought he needed to do, and I'm glad he's gone, frankly.

Posted by: jweber1 | August 6, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Abe did not use MJ.

MJ is a horrible GM. So he had the balls to can him.

His personnel moves were god awful. Oh wait, he's moved onto charlotte and running that team into the ground.

Hence, Abe was correct with his decision. He fired somebody that was incompetent. This is a business. Yes MJ put folks in the stands...but his decisions were making folks leave the stands.

Unfortunatley, Abe dropped the ball on Gilbert Arenas. Gilbert was a liability with this gimpy knees and selfish play but he made the decision based on frienship instead of a business decision. Bit him in the butt.

This team is now salary cap jacked for 6 more years.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | August 6, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Abe might have used Jordan to sell out games, but firing him/not bringing him back as GM was the right basketball move.

It's not like MJ has excelled at being a GM down in Charlotte.

The one deal I will give a whole hell of a lot of credit for was the Juwan trade. To get that number off our books was huge. But obviously his legacy as a GM will forever be tied to Kwame and let's not forget about Adam Morrison, who still has some time to change perception, I guess...

Posted by: wizardsextreme1 | August 6, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think MJ did that horribly as a GM. I mean...he wasn't as bad as Isaiah Thomas. LOL

The Juwan trade was huge. He got us from under a lot of bad contracts and brought in Larry Hughes. Kwame was a flop but it wasn't as big of a flop of other recent picks.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Firing Jordan was the right move at the time as it was clear that he didn't mesh well with Abe and quite frankly, according to most reports at the time, didn't try all that hard to get close to Abe. Front office management is an insider's playground and Jordan apparently didn't know the rules. I, for one, enjoyed his being here (as a player) and went nuts when he went off on the Hornets for 51 points. Regarding Jordan's legacy here, Kwame was a near-consensus top pick when he came out so let's not rewrite history and pretend that everyone knew he was a bum, had no business even being in the draft and that Gil should have been the number one overall pick that year.

Posted by: Firuz1 | August 6, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who believes CHEAP ABE didn't use MJ is a fool.

Look how long abe kept Wes Unseld and he was the worst coach/gm ever.

MJ and Charlotte won 35 games and the Wizards won 19?

Did Abe fire Ernie? I know give me all of your excuses and how the Wizards are going to win a championship this year!

PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE grasp reality people.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Jordan being here never felt right. Not even when he was upstairs. It became obvious very quickly that this was a vanity project for him and that his heart wasn't really in it and that he didn't have the skills (or interest) to actually run a basketball franchise. Yet everything and I mean EVERYTHING about the franchise revolved around him. It was exciting at first, but quickly went downhill.

Posted by: rumbaugm | August 6, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Look how long abe kept Wes Unseld and he was the worst coach/gm ever.

MJ and Charlotte won 35 games and the Wizards won 19?

Did Abe fire Ernie? I know give me all of your excuses and how the Wizards are going to win a championship this year!

PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE grasp reality people.

Let's talk reality.
Everyone knows Abe was loyal to Wes because of their personal relationship. I think Wes Unseld Jr. is STILL on the staff somewhere. He had none of that for MJ.

Charlotte won 35 and we won 19 yeah. Injuries. Period. We went to the playoffs 4 years straight before. How many times did a MJ run team go? Wes? Combined under both? I bet it's under 4.

Grasp reality.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

As a GM, Jordan made Wes Unseld look like Jerry West.

Remember all those horrible decisions -- drafting Kwame Brown, instead of Elton Brand, trading away Richard Hamilton?

He was awful, because he was too arrogant to put in the proper time to make wise decisions.

Posted by: john24 | August 6, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, off the top of my head, I remember him scoring something like 50 points one game in his 1st season (making him the oldest player to score that many in one game, IIRC).

And I think one game v. the Bulls that same season he had a pretty good game - the main thing I remember is him running the length of the floor to block/pin a Bull's (Artest?) shot against the glass to secure the win. So that was nice. Outside of those, though..I got nothing.

Posted by: nittanybruin | August 6, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

He was awful, because he was too arrogant to put in the proper time to make wise decisions.

Posted by: john24 | August 6, 2009 1:04 PM

He was awful, becasue he did not know what he was doing. Like any job it takes time to learn the "tools of the trade" and like a lot of other great players just because you know how to play the game does not mean you are going to be a great GM.

I am not saying MJ is a great GM, what I am saying ABE had no problem keeping MJ around while he was willing to play on the team and help sell out the place every night.

If Abe runs this team based on personal relationships versus wins and loses, what does that tell you about his commitment to winning?

Looking at Flips assistant coaches why is Wes Jr. one of them? Do you really think Flip picked the guy and if he didn't it looks like Flip is willing to jump through hoops just to have a job.

Is Wes Jr. the Wizards big man coach? It's no wonder we haven't seen any improvement from any of our big guys, but who cares Abe likes him.

SDMDTSU,

That's reality not excuses.

You're going to give me injuries as your best defense? How many times has Gil, AJ, BTH, CB made it out of the first round? Ernie should be GM of the decade?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

'Remember all those horrible decisions -- ....trading away Richard Hamilton?"

I swear that was because Rip went to UConn and Smackhouse was a Tar Heel.

That block on the glass play stands out to me too.

And the fact that every single game was packed and had great atmosphere, was fun to be a part of and a far cry from the 3/4 empty house of this last season.

Though no lines for beer and restrooms does have its advantages

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Jordan was an All Star caliber player with the Wiz, but he clearly could not carry them on his own. MJ did not smart GM moves to pick up Hughes and Haywood, but he committed to disastrous failures: trading Rip for Stackhouse, and picking Kwame over Chandler and Gasol. MJ's awful GM tenure with the Bobcats has reenforced the notion that he is not a skilled personnel man.

It should also be noted that MJ inherited an abysmal, overpriced team. When MJ arrived, he had a team of overpriced mediocrities who were paid like All Stars: Howard, Richmond, Strickland, and Ike Austin. MJ did a good job getting rid of this deadweight, but ultimately he was unable to construct a decent team in its wake. In the end, the Wiz would have been better off getting high lottery picks in '02 (Yao) or '03 (Lebron, Melo, Bosh, Wade) than barely missing the playoffs each of these years and getting low lottery picks.

All in all, Pollin should have been more honest with MJ about his intentions. On the other hand, it does appear that Pollin was genuinely dismayed at all of the backroom sniping at MJ's heavyhanded authoritarian tactics, information that only came to Pollin's attention late in MJ's second season of playing. It was a tough situation for all in involved. While Pollin handled it poorly, there is no question that Eddie Jordan and Grunfeld were a better management team than Collins and Jordan were. It was an inevitably awkward scenario.

Posted by: Dellis2 | August 6, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I may be in the minority here, but MJ's second comeback actually enhanced his legacy in my mind because he still occasionally did something incredible. I have two favorite memories of the MJ in DC era. The first is that famous block on Ron Mercer he pinned against the backboard (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJriDpfgQNs). My second (less famous)favorite memory is when I saw him make a pre-knee injury Kenyon Martin fall over with a cross over.

The MJ as a GM wasn't as awful as some remember, although it certainly wasn't a roaring success. In addition to the well remembered debacles (Kwame, The Jefferies/Dixon draft, trading Rip for Stack) there were some things that worked out (trading for Haywood, dumping Juwan's albatross of a contract, Larry Hughes (sort of)).

Those teams were very frustrating as a fan. Some really bad players played major minutes for those teams (Tyronn Lue, young Kwame, Jahadi White etc.). The second year the team had a little more talent (Haywood, Hughes) but was just awful down the stretch. I think the team was in the playoffs in February and then promptly finished the season 8-15. Christian Laettner was the only Wizard besides Jordan to have a good spring. Its really demoralizing to watch your favorite team try and make a playoff run with Christian Laettner as its second best player.

Posted by: ZachMorris | August 6, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The year Kwame came out the consensus top three picks were all high schoolers in Kwame, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. Curry was fat, Chandler was too skinny. Kwame was athletic and built better than Dwight Howard at the same age. DC would have screamed bloody murder if he had chosen any one else in that draft. If you remember Shane Battier was the safe pick that year. Only move Jordan missed steped on was getting Stackhouse for Hamilton, Stackhouse's game was too much like Jordan's; Hamilton complimented him better as an out side shooter.

Posted by: desylver | August 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

You're going to give me injuries as your best defense? How many times has Gil, AJ, BTH, CB made it out of the first round? Ernie should be GM of the decade?

I never said GM of the decade. How many times since 1978 have they even been TO the first round under any other GM?

And yes injuries. Are they a 19 win team healthy? No. 60% of the starting lineup basically missed the entire season. Including the best player. Show me any team in the NBA if you do the same thing to them that they get to the 2nd round.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise reported a couple months ago that MJ wanted to pick Gasol #1, but he was afraid of the public reaction that this would have engendered. If this story is true, it seriously scars MJ's Wiz legacy. He picked an inferior player who ended up being a historic bust instead of a perennial All Star who is now among the NBA's top big men.

Posted by: Dellis2 | August 6, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the Wizards internation scouting was hoorrible then. The pick of Juan Carlos Navarro would've actually been a nice pickup if he ever really wanted to come to the NBA.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

jweber1, DITTO!!!!

Posted by: garrybrown | August 6, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It was a little of eveything I think.

Yes, cheap "Abe" used MJ. If MJ wanted to come back for another season, cheap "Abe" would not have said "no" because he wanted the seats filled.

Yes, MJ was a terrible GM. If Richard Hamilton does not get hurt, the Wiz make the playoffs that year. Hamilton was promptly traded the following summer for that crappy Stackhouse.

Kwame Brown...enough said.

Doug Collins was a mediocre coach at best and never should have been hired. MJ felt endebted to him for what happend in Chicago, getting him fired. Of course they hire Phil Jackson and the rest is history for Chicago.

It was a bad all around mix here during that time. Jordan was not ready to run a franchise and Abe Polin was desperate to fill the seats. Jordan did give the Wiz some credibility, but his non GM skills was the eventual failure of this team. Trading Hamilton was a HUGE mistake, MJ thought he was soft. They probably make the playoffs the next year if Rip is still on the roster.

Then it all blew up.

I just remember thinking when watching the news and MJ was driving his Benz out of town that no one would want to come to Washington after that. It was such a sad day.

Just sad.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 6, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

'I just remember thinking when watching the news and MJ was driving his Benz out of town'

and after 2 years, still had illinois license plates. Says it all.

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

All the bickering aside,

The pin the ball against the backboard move posterized one Ron Mercer, and it was eerily similar to game ending play in a Maryland-North Carolina game, where Jordan comes out of nowhere to swat Chuck Driesell's (Lefty's son) shot that would have won the game for the Terps.

And that about does it for the highlights. Jordan's tenure here is much the same as it was when he spent about two years with the Birmingham Barons. Made them famous. But just like they said that he was too old to develop there, he was way past his prime here. I still remember the "Floor" Jordan remarks.

So, can't come up with ten memorable moment, sorry!

btw, Elton Brand was drafted in 1999, Kwame in 2001, a draft class that has given us a lot of solid rotation players, a few All-Stars, but not a one who could be a No. 1 in any other year. It's not that we wasted a pick on Kwame Brown, it's that in the four years or so that he was here, he rarely showed the consistency to be anything more than a role player.

Posted by: mabkhar | August 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Michael,

I think the general feeling in DC with Jordan was that Wiz games were an "event" to see. And, DC is an "event" town. He garnered a lot of buzz and sold a lot of tickets. I think he was well appreciated as a player, but not well thought of as a GM and not just bc of his decisions. I, for one, loved when Abe showed MJ the door. Everyone needs an ego check every once in a while. And, MJ's GM'ing from the golf course with a cell phone kind of showed a lack of respect for the franchise and the position, IMO. He deserved it.

Favorite memory:

At that time, I was with a Big 4 accounting firm, and we got tickets all the time for the games. Must have gone to a dozen games or so in those two seasons. My fondest memory was the night he scored 40 at 40. The place was electric. Jordan kept getting the ball on the high post to the left of the lane with his back to the basket and hit his patented fadeaway jumper from there time after time. As soon as he touched it it was an automatic two points. He looked like he was toying with the opponent at the age of 40 and Jordan's charisma was oozing from the court. The smile, the tongue, the swagger. Best time I ever had at a pro game and it was an otherwise meaningless one.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I remember Jordan had the offer to trade the #1 pick for Elton Brand. That was the rumor...but you know how those are.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Who knows how Kwame would have turned out if Jordan and Collins would not have destroyed his confidence.

Here goes 2 draftpicks for you: Jared Jeffries and Jarvis Hayes. Players Washington would not have ended up with if Mike didn't screw up the draft slot by playing, then getting hurt so we missed the playoffs and had a small amount of ping pong balls

Posted by: G-Man11 | August 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, it turns out that the best player to come out of that 2001 draft besides Gasol is Gilbert Arenas who was picked in the 2nd round by G.S.

I agree, there weren't many memorable moments during MJ's tenure in a Wiz uniform but one of my favorite moments was his first game vs. the bulls when Ron Mercer attempted a layup and MJ pinned the ball with both hands against the glass. I remember the Wiz bench going bonkers especially Jahidi White.

Posted by: d_skillz | August 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It was really cool to have Jordan here. I am really surprised by all the negative comments. I don't think they represent the average fan in the area.

People forget how awful and amateurish the Wizards were prior to Jordan's hiring as GM. They really played a developmental league squad and there was NO energy around the team at all.

In the two years that Jordan played, the Wiz became competitive and fun to watch. Sure, they couldn't make the playoffs even in the truly awful Eastern conference, but they competed, and took steps in the direction of respectability.

And it was amazing to see him still pull off 40 and 50 point nights, though obviously not as often and not as efficiently as he used to do it. The most memorable play for me was his sick block on -- I think -- Ron Mercer when he came out of nowhere to pin a breakaway layup to the glass.

His comeback was not a rousing success, but he was still, at 40, the best player the Wizards/Bullets had on their roster in at least a decade. He played hard, and he turned the team from VERY VERY BAD to average.

Posted by: moshinsk1 | August 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

My fave Wiz/Jordan moment was in the All Star game. He hit a tough fadeaway shot to put the East up when everybody in the world knew he was gonna get the ball. If not for a stupid call that the refs gave Kobe in the last seconds, he would would have ended his all star game career with a game winner.


Refs should have swallowed their whistle on the Kobe call.

Posted by: original_mark | August 6, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

You Wizards fan are some miserable people, I hope you find something in life to cheer you up. Anyone who knows basketball or has once played basketball at a high level knows that what Jordan did on the court at his age was amazing. To be 40 years old and score 50 points against twenty somethings is probably the most amazing individual accomplishment that Jordan has had on a basketball court

Posted by: foreverwiz | August 6, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

My fave Wiz/Jordan moment was in the All Star game. He hit a tough fadeaway shot to put the East up when everybody in the world knew he was gonna get the ball. If not for a stupid call that the refs gave Kobe in the last seconds, he would would have ended his all star game career with a game winner.


Refs should have swallowed their whistle on the Kobe call.
Agreed. I still hate Kobe for that. MJ deserved to end it with a game winner. It was just an all-star game.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I remember a scoring duel vs. Alan Iverson. Jordan had almost 30 in the 1st half and we were up by like 20. Then AI lit up the 2nd half for almost 30 and we lost by 10.

I thought the tickets paid were worth the price that night.

Posted by: cballer | August 6, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed watching him as a player, even in his diminished days as a Wizards, but he is a terrible GM, period.

We should have known his inability to judge talents when he called the Bullets/Wizards as "team of the future," LOL.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 6, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

moshinsk1,

I don't believe he had multiple 40/50 pt games with the Wiz. I know I was at the 40 at 40 night and from what I can remember, I believe that was the first time any player had done that, but it was the only time he did as well. I am certain he never scored 50 with the Wiz.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 6, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The suggestion that Pollin "used" Jordan is ludicrous. So Jordan was just some stupid dupe who got conned into a being a show pony for Pollin and was taken to the cleaners because he didn't know any better? Please.

Jordan suited up because he needed one last ego massage before fading into the sunset. He needed to show those young turks who was still the top dog. The fact that paying customers turned out in waves to see him stroke himself while the team went down in flames around him only served to pump up his ego even more, further fulfilling his goal of showing everyone he was still The Man.

Did Pollin profit from Jordan being on court? Sure. Newsflash! Every owner profits from having a star player fans are willing to pay to see. That's the nature of the business. But to say Jordan was "used" suggest that (A) he didn't know what was going on and (B) he got nothing out of the deal, both of which are patently untrue.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Seeing how Elton Brand was actually traded for the number two pick, I'm thinking the "Brand was offered for the number one pick" rumor might be true.

Posted by: ZachMorris | August 6, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Brand for the #1 pick offer has been pretty much reported as fact, over the years. I don't recall either side publicly denying it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Did Pollin profit from Jordan being on court? Sure. Newsflash! Every owner profits from having a star player fans are willing to pay to see. That's the nature of the business. But to say Jordan was "used" suggest that (A) he didn't know what was going on and (B) he got nothing out of the deal, both of which are patently untrue.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 2:47 PM

i think the being used part was that Mike thought he made a gentleman's agreement with polin that would allow him his job back and a stake in the team after he finished his contract playing for the wiz. Mike seemed genuinely caught by surprise by what he walked in to when he met with polin that morning. you don't have to be a stupid dupe to get conned, you take sopmeone at their word and they end up burning you. I think carlos boozer had to deal with a lil bad pub when he left cleve after giving his word to Gund. i wonder how people would talk about mike if Abe offered him his job back, but mike declined and went to CHI. then we'd be talking bout how he reneged

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Jordan was not fired because of his performance. Jordan was fired because he broke the mold and was trying to change the culture around the Bullets/wizards. Let's not forget the infamous story of how when the team played in Utah they usually stayed at Abe's friend/brother in laws hotel. the hotel was rated 3 stars at best. Jordan moved the team out and to the downtown Hyatt or Hilton. That was an affront to Pollin. Jordan did things like that in the front office too.

People were threatened by jordan, and Pollin found reasons to get rid of him. but the reality was Pollin was threatened.

Jordan brought life back to this franchise. Prior to Jordan the only ray of hope this franchise had was the Webber-howard years. But Abe is the type of owner that loves trading young players in their prime. so when Webber was accused of accused of smoking weed that was the last straw and he was shipped for Mitch richmond.

Jordan inherited a horrible roster and bad contracts. his hiring of Leonard Hamilton was a bust. but he cleared cap space and set the Wizards up for who and what they are now. Jordan was preparing to go after Arenas just as Grunfeld did. The cap space was available due to Jordan's moves.

As for his drafting Adam Morrison, let's be honest. he drafted a white kid to attract people to the seats. That was a sad business move. but Morrison will get 6-7 years to prove he is not a NBA player because he was a highly touted white player.

Posted by: simplewords999 | August 6, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Went to about 25 games during the Jordan Years - great energy every night. My fave was the night against the Bulls when Jordan scored his 30,000th point and he made the incredible block to save the game. We were in one of the rows holding up the giant Congratulations Mike sign after he scored 30k. One of the most exciting live sporting events of my life . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbz52tykvOU

Posted by: ljack666 | August 6, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

What I most remember about the Jordan Wizards era was that he brought back excitement to Washington area basketball. The Hoyas had fallen off and the Terps were just beginning to assemble what would be their championship team. The Wizards can thank Michael for selling out all of their games over two years and thus setting the ground work, financially, to sign Gilbert Arenas and have money to play with. Every game he played was a sellout wherever they played. Wizards jersies began selling, and Pollin reaped the benefit from all of this. That's why many take Jordan's side in their fallout. Promises were seemingly made, but not kept by the owner.
I won't try to give you a top ten MJ list of moments, but the one that I remember fondly was when, late in a game, he was fouled on a shot, turned and complained to the ref and then sprinted downcourt and blocked/caught a shot off the backboard, came down with it and had some more words for the official. Michael may have been approaching forty, but for that singular moment he looked 22 again.
MJ might not want to remember his days in Washington and Pollin might try to pretend it never happened, but for the fans of the Wizards those two years were a hell of a lot of fun.

Posted by: manwray | August 6, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"you don't have to be a stupid dupe to get conned"

Conned, used, whatever. The fact remains that saying Jordan was any of those things implies that (A) he got taken; he didn't, because he entered into the situation knowingly and willingly and got something he wanted out of the deal, (B) the outcome was premeditated on Pollin's part, of which there is no evidence. If anything, it was watching how woefully pathetic the team was even with Michael Jordan as a player that convinced him that Jordan was a train wreck of a GM, and (C) Pollin broke their deal, which he didn't because there was no deal. They were meeting to negotiate terms of Jordan's new contract as GM, which means there was no contract in place, which means Pollin was under no obligation to give Jordan back the keys to the team.

"As for his drafting Adam Morrison, let's be honest. he drafted a white kid to attract people to the seats. That was a sad business move."

Assuming that's true (and there's really nothing to suggest that other that some kind of racial smear against the bball fans of North Carolina) that doesn't change the fact that it was a bad move. It just means it was a bad move done for the wrong reasons, which does nothing to help Jordan's case.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Gasol was not on the Wizards radar in the Kwame draft. They didn't bring him in for a workout, and the word I remember at the time was that Jordan DID NOT believe in drafting a European player that high. Do not believe any other story about Jordan supposedly wanting Gasol.

Another problem with Jordan the executive at that time is the same one he still deals with - he doesn't seem invested in the role, staying local and actually running the organization. He was still off doing his thing in Chicago for much of the summer, checking in when he felt necessary. But certainly unlike almost any other basketball operations boss I've heard of. I'd wager even Isiaih Thomas spent more time in the Knicks offices running things than Jordan did (even before he suited up).

Posted by: grounder | August 6, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Jordan's falling out with Pollin I don't think anybody outside the organization really knows for sure what went down. But it seems to me that Jordan came back not just because of his competitive nature, but to help out a struggling franchise who was relying on the marquee names from other teams to sell tickets for their own home games. He accepted the league veteran minimum for both seasons he played here and gave up his GM position so that he could suit up. Once he retired and was ready to return as GM and, from what I gather, part owner of the team, Pollin decided not to bring him back for reasons of his own. Whether they had a gentlemen's agreement or not, Pollin reneged on his word.
For two seasons the Wizards sold out every game they played thanks to Jordan. Pollin made a ton of money and then sent MJ on his way. One thing that can't be argued is that in the heat of that final meeting Jordan flat out asked Abe if he "was a man of his word." Apparently he wasn't.
I respect Jordan for moving on and not talking about it.

Posted by: manwray | August 6, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I have 2 MJ memories that are bookends, the first in the '84 Olympics when he came flying out of nowhere and stuffed a guy's shot in the semifinal against Spain, and the photo of the play made the LA Times the next day. The second is a Wizards game at the end of MJ's career in which somebody stuffed Jordan to the floor - got so much of the ball that MJ went down, but he managed to pass the ball off as he was falling. What a competitor.

Posted by: jellis2 | August 6, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Regarding Jordan's falling out with Pollin I don't think anybody outside the organization really knows for sure what went down. But it seems to me that Jordan came back not just because of his competitive nature, but to help out a struggling franchise who was relying on the marquee names from other teams to sell tickets for their own home games."

Which, if true, only further undercuts the "he was used" theory. How can anyone claim Pollin "used" Jordan to sell tickets if, according to your theory, Jordan himself made the decision to come back specifically to help ticket sales?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe Abe used MJ. I believe after a period of time with MJ he decided he did not want MJ as part of his team, player, GM or otherwise. As Kal already mentioned, Abe had the opportunity to re-evaluate things because MJ no longer had a contract as GM with the Wizards.

The scuttlebutt at the time was that there was bad feelings or mean spiritedness with MJ and his entourage when he was with the Wiz. He also was not an effective GM (even if he did get rid of Juwan's albatross of a contract).

I think Abe just decided he didn't want to do business with MJ anymore, a move at the time I did not like, but in retrospect now I agree with.

BTW, just for grins I'll bring this up, I believe it was MJ that brought BH to the Wizards - not that I have a problem with that.

One other thing, it is probably true Wes was not an effective GM, but as a coach he was not that bad. He usually had less talent to work with than the Wiz had last year and always seemed to get the most out of the talend he had. He even got them to the playoff the first partial year he coached. Wins and lossed don't always tell you everything.

Posted by: cannontl | August 6, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The year Kwame came out the consensus top three picks were all high schoolers in Kwame, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry.

Posted by: desylver
------------------------------------------

Well, #2 was traded for Elton Brand in his prime. So you would think #1 should be able to fetch Brand without problem. (And Wiz would have been in the playoff had they traded for Brand.) Besides, #3 was Gasol, not Curry, so the top 3 weren't consensus after all.

Well, #2 was traded for Elton Brand (in his prime). So you would think #1 should be able to fetch Brand without problem. (And Wiz would have been in the playoff had they traded for Brand.) Besides, #3 was Gasol, not Curry, so this wasn't a consensus after all.

Drafting Kwame is not the only bummer; he also drafted Juan Dixon ahead of Tayshaun Prince. I can understand drafting Jeffries ahead of Prince, but Dixon was projected to be a high second rounder. Drafting Dixon at #17 (mid first round) surprised a lot of people just like his Morrison pick in Charlotte.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 6, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Conned, used, whatever. The fact remains that saying Jordan was any of those things implies that (A) he got taken; he didn't, because he entered into the situation knowingly and willingly and got something he wanted out of the deal, (B) the outcome was premeditated on Pollin's part, of which there is no evidence.


nobody on here thought that the unwritten agreement was that jordan would get his job back as president after his playing contract was up? i feel like he was "taken" or "conned" because there was an unwritten agreement that Abe reneged on. He was able to reneg on it because Jordan had already sold his shares as part owner. I don't think Mike knew he was gonna be locked out of ownership 2 yrs after he bought in and then played for the team to sellout the stadium. That was the unexpected. He pulled a Willie Bank from Oceans 13.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

We should have known his inability to judge talents when he called the Bullets/Wizards as "team of the future," LOL.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 6, 2009 2:43 PM

Actually blowing up that team was possibly the dumbest thing Abe/Wes have ever done.

Unless of course you think a team that would have ended up with CWebb, Rasheed, and Ben Wallace in their primes on the roster wouldnt have contended.

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

40pts @ 40yrs

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | August 6, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Which, if true, only further undercuts the "he was used" theory. How can anyone claim Pollin "used" Jordan to sell tickets if, according to your theory, Jordan himself made the decision to come back specifically to help ticket sales?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 3:55 PM

mike sold his ownership shares and suited up b/c nobody was coming out to see the team. Kal u have not addressed Mike selling his ownership stake. you think he knew abe wasn't gonna let him back in? There's the con job. ABE : "If u sell your shares and go play for us a coupla years and fill the seats, I'll let you buy your shares back, no problem" Mike: "sounds simple enough to me, should we shake on it?" Abe: " Yeah, but i can't lift my right arm so just shake my left hand"

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

And as someone mentioned, given the doldrums of the franchise, having the Greatest of All Time suit up for two years and still flashing brilliance at times....was awesome. I dont get how any dc fan would not have enjoyed MJ on the home squad.

No, he wasnt a good GM. But as it washes out, we ended up with Antawn based on trading Stackhouse to Dallas right?

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The only reason MJ came to the Wizards was because of the "verbal agreement" that he would get part ownership of the team.

Why else would he come to Washington? He played because he wanted to show Abe that it was a good move to bring him in and Abe reaped (raped) the benifits of MJ playing.

How did Abe show his gratitude, he fires the guy. Like I said he kept Wes Unseld and he sucked as a GM and he keeps Wes Jr. even though he never did anything for the team. So, that shows you the kind of person CHEAP ABE really is. If he likes you (kal) than you can get away with anything, but if he doesn't Wallace, Webber and other non perfect citizens than he shows you the door.

Abe doesn't care about winning a championship and that's why I don't like him as an owner.

Before you guys tell me to become a fan of another team it doesn't work that way. Philly got rid of Katz and there is no reason the fans can't show Cheap Abe the door if they just had the guts not to show up to the games.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 4:34 PM

There is no evidence whatsoever that had Abe dealt with MJ differently we'd now be competing for Championships. Say whatever you want about Abe, but Jordan was never going to bring rings to DC and has not shown himself to be half the GM that ernie is (no matter how much you loathe him)

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

MJ had a contractural agreement for part ownership of the team when he was GM. When he got the itch to come back as a player he had to give that up.

Posted by: cannontl | August 6, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The only reason MJ came to the Wizards was because of the "verbal agreement" that he would get part ownership of the team.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 4:34
I'm with you '78. the only thing folks got wrong over here is that mike bought 20% of the team in 2000. here's a quote from a SI article from 2000 (bad with computers don't know how to link it) it titled AIR WIZARD with subtext reading Jordan Tries To Bring Winning Ways To Washington : NBA rules prohibit owners from playing and players from becoming owners, so Jordan wouldn't be able to suit up for a game even if he felt like it.

"I don't get to play. I don't get to wear a Wizards' uniform," Jordan said. "But I will have influence with the players who wear the uniform. ... I'm going to try to have my imprint and footprints all over this place."

MIke didn't sell his shares until before the o1-o2 season.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 4:34 PM

There is no evidence whatsoever that had Abe dealt with MJ differently we'd now be competing for Championships. Say whatever you want about Abe, but Jordan was never going to bring rings to DC and has not shown himself to be half the GM that ernie is (no matter how much you loathe him)

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 4:40 PM

You can fight the straw man if u want. Of course we can't prove that having Jordan here woulda won us a chip. However it is evident that we haven't won one since he was fired either. Curse of the Jordino anyone?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Based on the title, I thought this post was going to be about Christian Laetner!

My favorite memory of Jordan was trading Rip, a young up and comer, for Stack, a perennial whiner.

But better than that, he made Stack play second (or third) fiddle, even though Stack was in his prime.

It wasn't the team that was horrible when MJ was on the court, it was the fact that he was only about the third best player on the court, but dominated all the play.

Oh yes...and then there was picking Kwame #1 because Kwame told him he wouldn't be sorry if Jordan picked him. Yep, that worked for George Bush and Putin, too.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

MJ had a contractural agreement for part ownership of the team when he was GM. When he got the itch to come back as a player he had to give that up.

Posted by: cannontl | August 6, 2009 4:41 PM

he gave up part ownership of an NBA franchise to play for said frachise for the vet minimum (which he donated to victims and families from 9-11). You don't think he might've been given the impression he could buy his shares back? I mean what was in it for Mike? NO salary (donated), No ticket sales or concession sales( sold ownership), No Playoffs. seriously i know he was competitive, but it seems like he came back and played for almost nothing. I guess that's why he always talks about luv for the game.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

yall gotta know abe co-signed the rip trade, btw didn't mike and rip play at the same time? meaning that mike wasn't the GM when he was traded.hmmm. young star for aging journeyman sounds a lot more like abe's MO than mike's, but wwho knows

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I can believe that MJ had the impression he could get his shares back, but I as I was trying to point out I think there were other things going down in the years that MJ was here that were not necessarily made public.

I don't think Abe intended up front to put the screws to MJ, but I think after a period time, he felt that MJ wasn't someone he wanted in his organization. At least that's what I got out of it from what was reported at the time.

Posted by: cannontl | August 6, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

MJ traded for Stackhouse and Haywood...I'm tellin ya, Tarheel Blue

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"Kal u have not addressed Mike selling his ownership stake. you think he knew abe wasn't gonna let him back in?"

I don't think Pollin knew, which is my whole point. I seriously doubt that, at the time Jordan made the decision to start playing again, Pollin had some sinister plan already in place to not keep him around after he was done miuking the box office receipts from Jordan the player. I think it was a decision he came to after watching how poorly the team that Jordan had built performed even with Jordan on the floor. Thus the whole "Jordan was used" thing goes out the window. They both went into it on the same page and came out on different ones. And without a written contract, Pollin was under no obligation to turn part ownership of his team over to a guy he'd come to think wasn't up to the job. None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I can believe that MJ had the impression he could get his shares back, but I as I was trying to point out I think there were other things going down in the years that MJ was here that were not necessarily made public.

I don't think Abe intended up front to put the screws to MJ, but I think after a period time, he felt that MJ wasn't someone he wanted in his organization. At least that's what I got out of it from what was reported at the time.

Posted by: cannontl | August 6, 2009 4:59 P
i can dig that. no doubt there was more to it than just bizzness. i just liked having the greatest b-ball player ever playing for/working for/affiliated with my hometown team. it seemed like he didn't get a fair shake, but whatever he and abe are both super rich. i doubt either one loses sleep over this situation.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It was an honor to watch MJ play during his time in Washington, even if he wasn't at his best. I was so disturbed by the way the Wizards treated him at the end that I actually boycotted all home games for a year after he was fired from the front office.

Posted by: gburggal | August 6, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

the trade was during summer of 2002, right in the middle of Jordan's time here. i am sure Abe signed off on it, but no one ever doubted it was Jordan's call.

Basically he has a thing for guys from Carolina and the ACC. While that will generally stear you pretty well, or at least better than if you had a thing for MD guys, it seems to cloud his hiring decisions. or maybe he just hates UCONN guys, based on his last trade.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a decision he came to after watching how poorly the team that Jordan had built performed even with Jordan on the floor. Thus the whole "Jordan was used" thing goes out the window. They both went into it on the same page and came out on different ones. And without a written contract, Pollin was under no obligation to turn part ownership of his team over to a guy he'd come to think wasn't up to the job. None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 6, 2009 5:05 PM

but that right there could be the unknown factor. that might be the part that jordan and abe misunderstood each other on. Mike thought he would be playing to fill the seats and "fulfill" the end of his career. Abe was using this as a chance to evaluate mike and his teambuilding skills, while he held no ownership power or management position. I don't think Mike knew that he would be evaluated as a GM after only 1yr on the job. He was team president for 1 season, after that he played for 2 yrs. If u change the terms of the agreement without the other person knowing it, you are "conning" "taking" the other person. like i said, he may not have planned it all along, but at some point it donned on him that he had the leverage (Pollin) and that he didn't have to do anything for mike because a formal deal to buyback shares couldn't be made (not legal). If it were legal to make that agreement then.....

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

MJ's 51 point game as a Wizards; his 40 at 40.

I remember seeing one game where he ran down the court and snagged an opponents lay-up out of the air before it hit the back-board (unfortunately, I can't remember the opponent).

Even at 38-40 MJ was a top level competitor. This franchise was very fortunate to have him play here.

On the negative side:
1. The Kwame pick; Stackhouse for Rip trade; terrible moves as a GM.
2. The nasty split at the end of his time here (some of this is on Pollin).
3. The inability to deliver even a first round playoff game.

On the plus side:
1. Packed houses every home game.
2. He brought buzz to the franchise.
3. He delivered highlights for the DC audience.

I'm not sure what Jordan's total net was after selling his shares in the franchise, but I figure he probably made the franchise tens of millions in his short-time here in terms of sales, new ticket holders, etc that it wouldn't have rec'd otherwise. Many of those economic benefits stayed with the franchise even after Jordan had left and provided a financial base for the playoff runs in recent years.

MJ got a $10 million severance package, but he probably deserved something closer to $40-$50 mill -- especially considering that he only played for $1 mill. a year as a player.

Posted by: JPRS | August 6, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I am right there with Kal on this. I am sure that Abe was willing to give Jordan anything in their "honeymoon" phase, but after a couple of years, he changed his mind, based on MJ's arrogance (earned!) and overall detriment to the team.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

the trade was during summer of 2002, right in the middle of Jordan's time here. i am sure Abe signed off on it, but no one ever doubted it was Jordan's call.

Basically he has a thing for guys from Carolina and the ACC. While that will generally stear you pretty well, or at least better than if you had a thing for MD guys, it seems to cloud his hiring decisions. or maybe he just hates UCONN guys, based on his last trade.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:13 PM

he was a player, not gm or team president at the time of the trade. It's funny that they would listen to him when he wants to trade away the teams only young star, but they weren't hearnin none of that chit when Mike wanted his shares back. Like i asked earlier, trading young stars for over the hill vets is who's MO?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

overall detriment to the team.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:16 PM

can u give examples of his "overall detriment" outside of being an all-star, team leading scorer,team leader and box office draw. the greatest basketball player of all time arrogant, have you ever heard of Gilbert Arenas? At least mike had the credentials to justify his arrogance. what can an 80 yr old man who's owned his team for 1 chip tell a global Icon with 6 chips.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

EVERYONE knows that MJ was the de facto GM even as a player. And also, in his defence, no one thought that was a bad move at the time. Stack was in his prime, even if he was a prima dona.

It's more how Stack was used, or not used, that was the problem.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

verizon center blah bla blah, chip in 1979 blah blah blah.

what has abe done for this team to warrant him being above reproach. he screwed mike in 03 it's ok to say it. The wiz weren't chit in this town til mike came back. i went to the opening of the MCI center and they didn't even sell it out. when mike came to town the stadium was full for 2yrs straight. name the last wiz allstar before mike came. i don't ride on abe everytime i post on here b/c he has done some good for DC, but for real the wiz aint chit, and really haven't been for a long while.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

i can say that b/c i luv the wiz and continue to foolishly spend money on them.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

if he like carolina guys so much then why did the de facto GM draft dixon in the 1st rd in 03?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

'what can an 80 yr old man who's owned his team for 1 chip tell a global Icon with 6 chips.'

You're fired.

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I said he earned his right to be arrogant.

I'm just saying that if I hired someone who promised me he could make the moves to get a championship and after three years, he squandered the number one overall and traded my best young player and never made it to the playoffs, I might decide to hire someone else at that point.

No knock on MJ. He is the greatest player of all times.

He just isn't exactly Jerry West in the front office. And that is the position he got fired from. had he wanted to play 3 more years, I bet Abe would have let him. I would have.

Plus, I recall hearing a lot of noise back then about a good portion of the team not exactly loving MJ. Stack had issues for the aforementioned reasons; Laetner didn't love him, Hughes complained; Kwame despised him. The only guys that loved him were Dixon, Cardinal and Goldwire - mainly because they would have had no career except for him.

So your two best players (Stack and Hughes) have to sit back and let every play run through the third best player (MJ) and the overall number one, the guy you should hope to build your franchise around, not only stinks up the joint but hates the guy who is about to be gm? You gonna give that GM a second chance to hire, fire trade and alienate your team?

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

My take is MJ was muscling in on Abe's control of the team, so Abe booted him when he felt as if Jordan was forgetting who owned the franchise.

Abe was already old then, but not so old as to where he would stand by and watch MJ take over the team out from under him.

Cant fault either of them too much, it's business

Posted by: divi3 | August 6, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe its Carolina first, ACC second. All I know is that if you're a Big East player on a MJ team, you better have your bags packed.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry...Bobby Simmons probably loved MJ too

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me why Wes Jr is an assistant coach on this team?

Bring in Bill Laimbeer he was a guy (like BTH) who didn't have the gifts Howard was born with but knew how to win.

Please bring anyone in that has a ring! The team needs to learn how to win and Flip can't teach them that since he hasn't won anything.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree we need a big man coach. I still love the idea of Oakley, but will take Laimbeer (mainly cuz his name has beer in it).

And for all of you who think I am hating MJ...I just reviewed the rosters from his 3 years hanging with Wiz and they had much better talent by the time he left than they did before MJ arrived. True durn near 50% of them were ACC, but I guess that is probably true with any team.

Unfortunately that Rip/Stack trade didn't work out, Stack was only 27 or 28 at the time, prime of his career.

But Cherokee Parks? LaRon Profitt? Obinie Okezie (or whatever)? Lonnie Baxter? Maybe he did love MD players the best...now that is something worth firing someone over!

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

i wasn't in the wiz front office so i don't know who signed,traded or drafted anyone. i do know that Michael Jordan as a player wasn't able to do any of those things. Abe, Wes and whoever else was in the FO are just as culpable for as MJ for any moves made during his playing time. Players can't trade players, players can't sign players, players can't draft players. Someone else had to make thos moves. even if mike told them to do it they had to agree. it's funny that they agreed with everything he wanted to do until it came time to give him his money/seat back. wasn't somebody on here talkin bout how abe be actin for the $$$$$$ ?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 6, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Kal. MJ was not duped, used, conned, or, otherwise, taken advantage of. They both benefited from what took place.

I also don't think Abe backed out and told him to get lost based solely on his poor decisions as GM. We all know that Abe usually has a lot of patience with underperforming GM's (Unseld). Abe didn't like his GM'ing by way of cell phone calls on golf courses in Chicago and I don't blame him. If your going to work that way, then you better make some damn good decisions and he didn't. He made a lot of mistakes. So, any leeway that he would otherwise have gotten was taken away. He also stayed at the Ritz Carlton and drove away in his Bentley that day with Chicago tags still on his car. So, I'm not sure how committed Jordan was to the team in the capacity of GM or to the city of DC, really. I don't think those things went unnoticed by Abe.

In retrospect, it does not seem like it was a bad decision by Abe either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 6, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Dude - you don't make any sense. Even if Abe and Wes and Susan Omally and Nash and Johnny erfin Cash signed on to Mike's idea's, they were still his idea's. If they were bad idea's, why would you pay for more of them. If i guy shows he can't do the job of advising you, hiring someone else...like Ernie Grunfeld.

If you think he is screwing up, fire him and hire someone else.

I'm not saying MJ screwed the whole team over by himself, but we made 2 bad coaching hires while he had the authority to call the shots and ANYONE who picked Kwame Brown was gonna get canned within 2 years anyway.

MJ asked for and got virtually free reign and took that free reign to work himself out of a job.

But he did add excitement and added 200,000 butts in the seats each season and helped the Wiz get some sort of respectability. So I am glad he came and glad he is gone and super glad he is gonna keep Charlotte in the cellar instead of the Wiz for most of the next 10 years.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I had a post deleted a couple days ago for calling LeBron Le-something else that was probably distasteful. I understand we are trying to keep this a civil and family friendly site, so for that I apologize.

But seriously, It's Lebron James...of the Cavaliers...The CLEVELAND Cavaliers. I think it is only patriotic to hate on him.

Why does this blog hate America and the patriots that know Lebron is not quite half the player MJ was? we have soldiers in Alaska that can see the Russians who put up with Sarah Palin just so people like me; the REAL Americans; can call LeBron bad names.

Socialist atheist MAIN STREAM MEDIA elitists.

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

November 1,2001 31 points in 98-88 win over Atlanta
November 16,2001 44 points in 101-92 loss to Jazz
December 29,2001 51 points in 107-90 win over Hornets
December 31,2001 45 points in 98-76 win over Nets
January 24,2002 40 points in 94-85 win over Cavs
January 26,2002 41 points in 112-102 win over Phoenix
November 8,2002 25 points in 100-99 win over Lakers
January 4,2003 41 points in 107-104 win over Pacers
February 1,2003 45 points in 109-104 win over New Orleans Hornets
February 21,2003 43 points in 89-86 win over Nets
The first preseason game in 2001 vs the Nets when Jordan got hot and had about 23 points in the first half. John Thompson had called him "floor Jordan" before the game and though we lost it conjured up memories of him scoring 55 against the Knicks in his 1995 comeback from baseball.
Jordan's Kwame picked flopped but overall he did a pretty decent job as GM. He got rid of 4 awful contracts in Juwan Howard,Mitch Richmond and Rod Strickland as well as Ike Austin.
Moving Hamilton for Stackhouse certainly did not work out well at all but he did get Brendan Haywood for a 1st round pick and that has worked out fairly well.
Then there is Michael playing for the Wiz for I think near the minimum salary.
He played as hard as he could and the team came close to making the playoffs a few times. The arena was sold out and the Wiz were on ESPN/TBS and TNT seemingly virtually all the time.
I have some very fond memories of Michael's time in DC and I still have lots of video tapes from games during those 2 years to watch.

Posted by: jeremybozz | August 6, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so he sucks as a GM, he made the worst #1 pick of all time, and as a player he couldn't quite get the Wizards to the playoffs. But those still were two enjoyable seasons to watch. I think what MJ showed in Washington was that if even if you took away the preternatural leaping ability and quickness and shooting range, he was capable of scoring 20+ points per game strictly with his mastery of basketball fundamentals. And when he was moving slower, you could actually see what he was doing. He had the best footwork in the mid block, for example, that I've ever seen, and he was great at running his man into a pick on an in-bounds play or creating space with a fake so that he could get off a contested jumper.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | August 6, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

OK...good point about ditching those contracts, although I feel like some of that work was done before he got here, but I could be wrong.

I still think Stack could have scored 40ppg had EVERY play been run through him and no one cared if we won or not. Seriously, Stack could have had 25 ppg just from the line.

I just realized the absolutely worst part abut Jordan as GM...we lost Tracy Murray

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Alright last post for a while...I am going on vacation.

In looking through the old rosters i noticed that the wiz had 21 players on roster in the 00-01 season.

More importantly, we had Otis thorpe, Popeye Jones and Charles Oakley on our team over the course of 4 years. Three of the hardest working, undersized "big" men in the history of the game (at least since Wes played). Why can't we get that kind of effort from BH?

And doesn't at least one of them need some extra $$$$ to teach Mcgee how to play tough?

Posted by: Blurred | August 6, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Jordan was a total jerk here. Ran Hamilton off when he dared to ask for more money (and who of course played the 2 when MJ wanted to come back in that spot.). Humiliated Kwame and others on the court during games. Hired a servant/coach/pal who would never disagree with him. Mangled drafts and trades. GM'd part-time and from a safe distance. Basked in the acclaim earned much earlier as a superb athlete for another team in a different era. Drove away in his Illinois limo when the owner dared to let him go. Total jerk.

Posted by: joe2chase | August 6, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure if MJ had his way, he'd ask for that Les BouleS jersey to be removed....or burned.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 6, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

So right. The greatest basketball player ever, probably, was definitely a total jerk -- here and wherever he played. But he was splendid to watch, whether he was pouring in 55 against the Wiz or hitting 45 for the Wiz while we lost yet again.

But Jordan came back in September 2001, to Washington, DC, saying that he would donate his salary to help victims of the 9-11 attack. He filled Verizon Center for every home game, and the Wiz were the second-most watched team in the NBA.

That's some serious cred.

But he was a bone-headed GM who seemed to think that the road to the NBA finals will be paved with North Carolina Tarheels. Crazy to bring in Stackhouse and set away Rip Hamilton, a national player of the year who led Connecticut to an NCAA championship.

And then you take Kwame Brown with the No. 1 pick. Here's where a draft pick can make a big difference. If Jordan had gone for the national player of the year that year, a tough defender with a history of hitting big shots -- but a Dukie, Shane Battier -- he might have been able to carry us into the playoffs.

It will be interesting to see if Jordan can build a winning team in Charlotte -- the jury is still out but the case isn't strong.

In the end, I thought Abe was splendid. He saw what he had to do and he didn't hesitate. Jordan was thoroughly outmaneuvered. And thus it ended badly.

Great story, though, and some fine basketball.

Posted by: zinger1 | August 6, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't say MJ was outmaneuvered.

He was actually duped when he did Les BouleS a favor by relinquishing any rights he had as a manager in order to become a player again...and of course, Abe proved to be a liar....and that's why the curse lives on.

Some may call it savvy, but too bad Abe can't parlay that savvy into another ring/banner/championship.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 6, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

My most memorable jordan moment was a block at the backboard he made after turning the ball over and running down the would be lay-up, electrifying at the moment. he wasn't a good front office guy but he was given a raw deal by the wiz. He did us a favor to come here. we sucked

Posted by: scottmando | August 7, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

in the end the only thing people will remember is MJ got 6 rings and Cheap Abe got 1 in 46 years!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 7, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

MJ made me love the Wizards a lot more. It's a shame it ended the way it did.

Posted by: iamse7en | August 7, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Abe had to be a good business man. MJ- man, part of his competitiveness details that he is going to be kind of an a-hole to the people around him. Someone above mentioned right- you have to be kind of an insider to be in the front office (sounds right, as far as I could tell). You have to be able to show people respect, moderate your emotions and think wisely. MJ the player was completely different than that and that works for a player. Look at Ernie- very bland guy. Very milktoast. Commands oodles of respect, too. Would you rather work for a guy who is measured and wise or a guy who shows his self-interest and screams at everyone everyday? Would you respect that man, also?
Another thing: I read somewhere that Jordan was actually being divisive against Abe (Abe the owner, the man who writes and fulfills his paycheck) that people were beginning to take sides either for or against Abe. That, my friends, is simply a lack of maturity. You just don't act that way when you're trying to be a GM of an NBA team.

Posted by: jistutz | August 7, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

somebody said above that phil was a big counterweight to michael's 'oversized ego.' are you crazy? the bulls gm was at least as important as phil because he continued finding complementary players, and finally drafted scottie pippen, who could take some of the ball handling and scoring heat off mike. but make no mistake here: michael LED that team. mike LED the tar heels as a FRESHMAN. phil had input, but that was mike's team. aren't you aware that 'outsized' egos (whatever that means) CAN be a decisive factor to success when skills are more or less equal. if you don't believe you can, you can't and won't. bluster is something else; don't get them confused.

Posted by: dcjazzman | August 7, 2009 3:22 AM | Report abuse

The only good memory I have from the Jordan era was the two-handed block on Mercer. That was sick.

Posted by: imperialme | August 7, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

if he like carolina guys so much then why did the de facto GM draft dixon in the 1st rd in 03?


Because, in general, this area LOVES their UMD guys the way MJ obviously loves his UNC guys. You'll notice we ended up with Blake too. It was a straight up business move.

Posted by: imperialme | August 7, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

somebody said above that phil was a big counterweight to michael's 'oversized ego.' are you crazy? the bulls gm was at least as important as phil because he continued finding complementary players, and finally drafted scottie pippen, who could take some of the ball handling and scoring heat off mike.

Finally drafting Pippen? He came out in '87. It's not like he was some final piece of the puzzle. Hell, Doug Collins was still the coach for two years after he got there.

Posted by: imperialme | August 7, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Doug Collins had great hair in 1987. MJ had hair in 1987. But scottie pippen had an awesome High Top fade...not as good as Pervis Ellison and the entire Lousiville team had in 88.
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/language_tips/auvideo/attachement/jpg/site1/20080123/0013729c00250901325d06.jpg

can you believe pervis actually averaged 20-11 and almost 3 blocks for us one year?

Posted by: Blurred | August 7, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I have two great memories of Jordan as a Wizard. One was of the course the block off the backboard. The other was a double overtime game against the pacers, when he dropped 41 on them. I was a senior in highschool and a friend of a friend got me and my boy courtside seats. People seem to forget that on that night that late in the game Jordan drove baseline and dunked all over Jermaine O'Neal. In his 40's and he was still dunking on people. That was crazy.

Posted by: kelvinjdd | August 7, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Ted, Abe, MJ, and Clinton in the owner's box.

On the court, most memorable game was MJ's pure abuse of Grant Hill. I think MJ had 30 at the half. Grant didn't come back out in the second half, turns out he rebroke the bad ankle.

I thought MJ was going to have one of his record breaking nights, I think he scored about 2 more points. but for a quarter and a half he was still the best player on the planet.

MJ was probably the best 40 yr old basketball player who ever lived, that roster was so bad that even Jordan couldn't get it to the playoff's.

Remember Barkley and his weigh in's on TNT? And that Ewing was going to suit up? The whole thing was a little bit of a Circus.

In the end, MJ did a highly reported dance with Bob Johnson, I think there was even film of them together in a local resturant. And reports were swirling about MJ going to Abe with a Bobcat offer in his back pocket.

I think any Boss/Owner has his limits, Abe wasn't going to be manhandled, it would seem that MJ's read of the situation wasn't the correct one at the time. He clearly overshot what he thought his postion was. And it was one, one on one duel that he wasn't equipped to win.

What has surprised me is how well Abe rebounded from the whole thing. There was talk at the time that MJ would work to Blackball the Wizards. First Eddie Jordan, then Grunfeld, and now Suanders have joined the Wizards.

Grunfeld has gradually wrestled control of the operation from Susan O'Malley and "the Circus" is now a decently ran front office.

Look for Suanders to bring an era of winning and stability. But the wiz will need a healthy Gil to generate anything like the electricity that flowed through the phone booth when MJ took the floor.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 7, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe part of MJ's attitude stemmed from the fact that while he was basically playing for free...he was raking in millions for Abe due to sellouts, coverage of team, etc, etc

Perhaps if he'd been on the payroll for $20mill the situation would have been better, with him showing the proper deference to the man he wanted to eventually buy the team from. Rather than feeling as if Abe 'owed' him while still technically an employee of the organization.

Of course, there is no circumstance whatsoever in which Abe would have let MJ take over controlling interest of the team after Abe's time passed. No matter how much he may have let MJ think he'd consider it, that was never going to happen.

Posted by: divi3 | August 7, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

'Grunfeld has gradually wrestled control of the operation from Susan O'Malley and "the Circus" is now a decently ran front office.'

Good point and speaks to MJ's attitude towards the front office personnel being justifiable. He was the ultimate winner and we were promoting other teams players on our media guides before he got here. Total effing joke running the show, which he probably had zero respect for.

Posted by: divi3 | August 7, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The sad truth about pro sports is if a team wins the fans forget everything the owner and players have done in the past.

I guess for people who lives revole around a sport that is the only thing that matters. Personally, I learn the truth about sport at a young age when Bob Short moved the Senators.

The fact is most owners don't care about the fans they only care about making money! That's why this city need to stand up to CHEAP ABE and not buy his seats and force him to sell the team to an owner who wants to win a championship.

MY vote is for Steve Bisciotti he is local guy and a proven winner. If Philly can do it why can't we.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 7, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

By the way, it was Strauss, not Jackson who conducted the drafts and made trades for the Bulls.

It was Strauss's ego, along with the Bull's ownership's tightfisted ways that broke up that second run. Jackson was burned out, but wanted more control over the roster.

Pippen wanted a payday. Like Jordan he's played for years on an under valued deal which Reinsdorff refused to renegotiate. He had no intention of giving Pippen a fairwell & thank you one year contract like he gave Jordan.

Pippen's inability to ever lead the Bulls or another team to a title only increased Jordan's fame. MJ wasn't ready to walk away when Strauss/Reinsdorff disolved that team, but he wasn't ready to be a center peice while the rebuilt.

It's a shame that MJ didn't get another year or two with the Bulls and that group. But I think they were all burning out at that time, to stay on top for that long is one of the toughest things in sports.GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 7, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Ted still have an option to buy the Wizards?

MJ didn't exactly play for free. He got a 10m severance from the Wiz when he walked away. He also was given stock in the deal when he came to the Wiz, which he sold back before taking the court. He made a windfall on that too.

And then there was the boost in the sales of his Nike products. I remember reading that the windfall of the sales of Jordan products during the comeback probably made him the most highly compensated player in the league at the time.

Jordan had an itch that he had to scratch. Ted was smart enough to see it and manuvered to get him to Washington. But don't cry for MJ, he made millions off of his years in DC.

The best thing about it all was after that disaster of the MJ firing Abe had to hire a crediable front office person. He'd have been butchered in the press if he turned things over to O'Malley and Company again. Grunfeld's hiring stabilized one of the worst front office messes in the league.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 7, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

You'll notice we ended up with Blake too. It was a straight up business move.

Posted by: imperialme
-----------------------------------------

We drafted Blake in 2nd round, as projected where he would be. But we drafted Dixon in mid 1st round (#17), a lot higher than he was projected to be.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 7, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"As for his drafting Adam Morrison, let's be honest. he drafted a white kid to attract people to the seats. That was a sad business move. but Morrison will get 6-7 years to prove he is not a NBA player because he was a highly touted white player.Posted by: simplewords999"

I was amazed when they picked Morrison, who I suspected would turn out to be JJ Redick with higher blood sugar. I thought he'd go between 10 and 20, depending on team needs. Redick went at 11, after all, and that was too high.

Not that Morrison can't still become a productive Laker, but he's always going to be at a disadvantage defensively and he doesn't seem to be able to get his offense going against the better defenders. Of course taking Bargnani first was something of a reach with Lamarcus Aldridge sitting there. Just one of those drafts, I guess.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 7, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It is possible that Jordan's tenure set the Wizards back but remember that when he arrived as GM the team was completely without a real plan or direction and floundering.....in other words a failing franchise. Although by all reports he never really put in the sweat equity as a GM, he make a couple of good decisions (Haywood, Hughes) and got rid of some bad contracts. He also made some obviously bad decisions (Rip for Stack and of course Kwame) so all in all a very mixed record.

However as a season ticket holder I can say that watching him play for those 2 seasons was an absolute thrill. Sure he wasn't the MJ that won 6 rings but as Jeremybuzz outlined in his list of some of his games earlier in this blog, he really could, occasionally, really still light it up. In many games I saw, against quality players and quality teams, Jordan was the best player on the floor and he made the Wizards relevant to the NBA...which probably contributed to Arenas deciding to flip the coin and come here. And his block on Ron Mercer was one of the great plays I have ever seen live.

Posted by: camlot2822 | August 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

One more great memory from the MJ years . . . Hanging out at the bar @ Angelo & Maxies on 9th street after a game when Jordan, Oakley & Patrick Ewing walk in. Shook hands with all three (and thanked MJ for coming to DC) as they walked by on their way to the back room . . . pretty cool stuff.

Posted by: ljack666 | August 7, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Abe is so cheap.....he only built the new arena with his own money and didn't hold the city hostage like most owners. He is also paying the the luxury tax this season. Yeah what a cheap bastard.

Posted by: lavar609 | August 7, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Good spot CAMLOT2822.

That was a clean fair synopsis of MJ's tenure.

I bought seasons tickets to the Mystics game because of my daughter. But it was because of the thrill of Michael being here. Any part of the Washington experience was good enough for me because Michael was here.

People spent money downtown because of Michael and I was one of them, but when he drove that convertible out of the basement, my season tickets to the Mystics drove right along with him.

Now ain't that funny.

In a lot of ways than not Michael Jordan was a success here.

And the funniest thing of all and I did not know this, he has to go in the Fame as both a Bull and a Wizard.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 7, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This is really a Catch 22. Jordan did a couple of things for this franchise. As someone who had season tickets and went to almost every game Jordan played as Wizard he completely changed the atmosphere of the Wizards franchise and the fans. He made the Wizards relevant and packed the MCI Center full of Wizards fans as opposed to all the away team fans there generally are in this town. The franchise REALLY needed a jump start. Before Jordan was selling out the MCI Center there was NO place to eat downtown. No one was going to games so there was NO reason for people to build restaurants. Once he started selling out games it completely revitalized the now Penn Quarter into a place people actually go. Maybe this would have happened eventually but he certainly helped get it going. He changed the culture of losing I suffered through a 19 win season (like last year) but we didn't have any injury excuses. The Wizards just Sucked.

But all that said he also did some negative things. Jordan was too selfish with the ball and didn't let others grow and help him. He didn't trust his teammates and unlike when he was a Bull he actually made the players around him worse not better. So despite him being good at 40 he actually made them mediocre. And mediocre in basketball is the worst. You really either need to make the playoffs or suck. Anything in between you wind up drafting Jared Jefferies and continuing to be mediocre.

The Kwame Brown draft was an obvious mistake in hindsight but you can't tell me every single one of you thought it was the right choice when it happened. No one had drafted an international player #1 and for every Dirk Nowitzki there were 10 Darko Milicics. So he would have been killed had he taken Pao.

Though I'd love to dream that if we had just sucked those years we could have drafted Melo, Lebron or Wade. Give the Wizards luck we would have ended up with the second pick in that draft and had ourselves one Darko Milicic. And we could all be complaining about that now. And who knows maybe the Wizards would have never gotten out of the losing franchise funk.

Posted by: mjshabba | August 7, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

2002 Utah Jazz 102, Washington Wizards 105
Malone, Stockton & Jordon.
Money well spent.

Posted by: VBFan | August 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Abe is so cheap.....he only built the new arena with his own money and didn't hold the city hostage like most owners. He is also paying the the luxury tax this season. Yeah what a cheap bastard.

Posted by: lavar609 | August 7, 2009 11:46 AM

here we go again...Abe saved DC. he built the stadium with his own money which probably meant he had no debt with the city to pay back, therefore he makes all the money off the gate reciepts. the fact that he is paying the lux tax this yr doesn't mean he's not cheap. he has no choice. sure he could cut players and trimm salary that way, oh wait no he can't the contracts are guaranteed. how does paying the lux tax for the first time in forever make him not cheap? you think he didn't try to avoid the tax? if he wasn't trippin off the tax then why do we have oberto instead of gooden or any other more qualified FA big?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way, that 10 million that Michael told Abe that he could stuff, Did Michael really leave it, or did he actually take it?

I asked and googled this question before but I as of yet still don't know the answer.

Help me out, Please.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 7, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

windfall profit for his shares? he probably sold'em to Abe on the cheap cuz he was gonna buy'em back in two years. gimme #s not assumptions. getting the 10 mil severance pack was good, but to a guy whose last season with the bulls was for 35 mill 10 might seem kinda insulting. especially considering all the money MJ made for abe. Yes MJ made himself some $ too, but he's been retired for 6 yrs and his shoes jesreys and clothes still sell like none other. The kids waiting in line for the Air Jordan 60+ sneakers at 6am tomorrow may not know bout the mike playing with the wiz but they know brand jordan.

BTW maybe mike wanted to get rid of rip b/c he knew that rip was more comfy as a #2. he never took the role as the #1 guy in his career. I just remember mike hitting a game winner and doing the fist pump, and then rip came up right next to him and did the same gesture. the look on mike's face was priceless. he was looking at rip like " Look at this Clown right here". Maybe Mike wanted a guy to be there who could stand on his own so that when he left there was at least one strong personality in the locker room to lead the team.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

BTW maybe mike wanted to get rid of rip b/c he knew that rip was more comfy as a #2. he never took the role as the #1 guy in his career. I just remember mike hitting a game winner and doing the fist pump, and then rip came up right next to him and did the same gesture. the look on mike's face was priceless. he was looking at rip like " Look at this Clown right here". Maybe Mike wanted a guy to be there who could stand on his own so that when he left there was at least one strong personality in the locker room to lead the team.

As much as I usually disagree with you...I can agree with that. I never thought of it that way. I just can't see Rip LEADING a team...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | August 7, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

thx SD. i'm not a hater.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"BTW maybe mike wanted to get rid of rip b/c he knew that rip was more comfy as a #2. he never took the role as the #1 guy in his career."

Hamilton has been the Pistons leading scorer every year he's been in Detroit. He was also MOP of the Final four the year he led the Huskies to The NCAA Championship. The only time he hasn't been the #1 guy was when he was in D.C., where he was either stuck coming off the bench behind Mitch Richmond or playing next to Michael Jordan.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"The Kwame Brown draft was an obvious mistake in hindsight but you can't tell me every single one of you thought it was the right choice when it happened. No one had drafted an international player #1 and for every Dirk Nowitzki there were 10 Darko Milicics. So he would have been killed had he taken Pao."

No one had ever drafted a H.S. player #1 either, so the argument that he took Kwame as a safe alternative to making an unprecedented and potentially unpopular move doesn't really carry much weight.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If you remember Shane Battier was the safe pick that year.

Posted by: desylver | August 6, 2009 1:29 PM

My recollection was that Pau Gasol was the best "safe pick" that year. He had played professionally in Europe with success and was taken a few picks after Brown by the Grizzlies. Hindsight is always 20-20, but obviously Gasol would have worked out a lot better for the Wizards.

Posted by: rbpalmer | August 7, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"BTW maybe mike wanted to get rid of rip b/c he knew that rip was more comfy as a #2. he never took the role as the #1 guy in his career. I just remember mike hitting a game winner and doing the fist pump, and then rip came up right next to him and did the same gesture. the look on mike's face was priceless. he was looking at rip like " Look at this Clown right here". Maybe Mike wanted a guy to be there who could stand on his own so that when he left there was at least one strong personality in the locker room to lead the team."

Maybe that's a nice bit of fiction.

As it was reported at the time, the impetus for Hamilton being traded was his vocal refusal to allow himself to be characterized as a member of Jordan's supporting cast. It was reported he got into a shouting match with Jordan, telling him that he was tired of being "a Jordannaire" and that he was an NBA player. Not long after that he was shipped out for one of Jordan's Carolina homeys. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and how nice a job did Jerry "I'm shuttin' it down" Stackhouse, do leading the Wiz in Jordan's wake?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

here we go again...Abe saved DC. he built the stadium with his own money which probably meant he had no debt with the city to pay back, therefore he makes all the money off the gate reciepts. the fact that he is paying the lux tax this yr doesn't mean he's not cheap. he has no choice. sure he could cut players and trimm salary that way, oh wait no he can't the contracts are guaranteed. how does paying the lux tax for the first time in forever make him not cheap? you think he didn't try to avoid the tax? if he wasn't trippin off the tax then why do we have oberto instead of gooden or any other more qualified FA big?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009
12:27 PM
________

Are you dumb or just dumber? So he builds a stadium and revitalizes a whole section of the city on his own dime and somehow you gripe that he "had no debt with the city to pay back, therefore he makes all the money off the gate reciepts." So what? That is what this country is about. It's called capitalism and it's a win win situation with no tax payer's money involved and increased tax revenue downtown from all the business generated. This cheap Abe talk is starting to piss me off bc more than anything I think there is an underlying racial component to it. That, plus it's simply unfounded. Saying he ran the franchise poorly and mismanaged the team or let others mismanage the team for far too long is much different than complaining of his so called "cheapness".

Oh, and let's not forget, he has won a championship. It may have been a long time ago, but he did it. How many championships has Dan "Deep Pockets" Snyder brought to the city? Or for that matter, how much has he done for the city period except gauge Skin's for as much money as he possibly can. Whose team at the present moment has a better running front office? Whose team is closer to championship caliber at the moment?

Finally, Abe Pollin's charitable endeavors are legendary in DC above and beyond the team and the arena. So, YOU are probably much "cheaper" than Abe will ever be!

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 7, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

No one had ever drafted a H.S. player #1 either, so the argument that he took Kwame as a safe alternative to making an unprecedented and potentially unpopular move doesn't really carry much weight.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 2:38 PM

Yeah I know Kwame was the first high school player taken #1, but there were way more high school superstars in the league and they were a much more known quantity to people. 2001 was before international players had really started to take over the NBA. Tony Parker was drafted 28th that year. And everyone was trying to find the next Kevin Garnett and when you looked at Kwame Brown just physically and even the skills he had as a 18 year old you could see the potential. That year the debate was between Brown, Chandler and Curry. International players were still a huge risk (a risk that the Grizzlies wisely took - and then still sucked for years and the eventually traded Pao for Kwame Brown and a ham sandwich).

Oh and by the way I never said Kwame was a safe pick (picking a high schooler #1 is still super risky obviously) nor was I trying to make an argument I was simply stating that it's easy to look back and say we should have taken Pao. But at the time I'm pretty sure no fans really wanted us to take Pao.

Who did you want them to take that year kalo? Where you the one fan smart enough about basketball to know Pao was the best player?

Also do you ever form an opinion of your own or do you just like to take a crap on everyone else's opinions.

Posted by: mjshabba | August 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree about this CHEAP ABE business. Throwing money at the situation is never the right solution. The NBA like every other sport is a business and owners that try to buy championships often fall on their face (i.e. Dan Snyder, The Knicks). Buying championships seems to only work in baseball where team chemistry doesn't mean much.

Abe has spent money just not always on the right players (i.e. Juwan Howard), coaches (I think we were paying three head coaches contracts at one point) and GMs (Wes). Let's hope he's finally spent the money on the right people.

Does anyone on these forums have hope? Or have the Wizards failure year after year killed all hope and now there's only hate.

Posted by: mjshabba | August 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah I know Kwame was the first high school player taken #1, but there were way more high school superstars in the league and they were a much more known quantity to people."

Not really. At that point, the only H.S. players who had actually become unqualified success stories in the NBA were Garnett and Kobe. There were others who made the leap, but none had really established themselves as stars (Rashard Lewis had just finished his second season and was still a work in progress). And many more turned out to be busts/cautionary tells. The ranks of the NBA were hardly overflowing with prep-to-pros success stories. (Hell, they're still not.) Drafting players out of H.S. was still seen as very much a risky proposition.

"But at the time I'm pretty sure no fans really wanted us to take Pao."

That implies that the fans wanted the team to take Kwame, which is untrue. He and Pao were equally unknown quantities, so the suggestion that there was more support for Kame over Pau is without foundation.

"Who did you want them to take that year kalo? Where you the one fan smart enough about basketball to know Pao was the best player?"

More crap from the crap box. It doesn't matter what "the fans" wanted. That's the whole point. Fans don't know anything. If Jordan drafted Kwame because he thought it would go over better with the fans, he was an even worse GM than anyone thought. His job was to make the bast pick for the Wizards team/franchise/organization. It was his job, not mine, to know that Pau was a better pick than Kwame. The fact that he clearly didn't know that means he failed at his job. (The fact that he compounded the mistake by passing on the chance to get Brand just makes it even worse.)

"Also do you ever form an opinion of your own or do you just like to take a crap on everyone else's opinions."

It's my opinion that crap opinions like yours shouldn't get a free pass. How's that?

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Oh and by the way I never said Kwame was a safe pick . . ."

Liar.

"The Kwame Brown draft was an obvious mistake in hindsight but you can't tell me every single one of you thought it was the right choice when it happened. No one had drafted an international player #1 and for every Dirk Nowitzki there were 10 Darko Milicics. So he would have been killed had he taken Pao."

Posted by: mjshabba | August 7, 2009 11:50 AM

Making a decision based on the desire to avoid negative consequences is the definition of a "safe" move. (Now, this is where you go into spin mode, vainly trying to explain how the above paragraph wasn't clearly meant to suggest that Jordan took Kwame in order to avoid the fallout you seem to think he'd get if he took Pau. Have at it.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The NBA like every other sport is a business and owners that try to buy championships often fall on their face. Buying championships seems to only work in baseball where team chemistry doesn't mean much.


Posted by: mjshabba | August 7, 2009 5:41 PM

Don't tell that to the Lakers, Clevland, San Antonio, Boston and/or Orlando who are willing to spend money to try and win a championship.

Does anyone remember selling the 2nd round pick for 2.5 mil and last years 2nd round pick for 750,000 and the fact Cheap Abe got a ton of money from the NBA for not going over the luxury cap?

Just because the team is over this year doesn't mean that luxury cap money is coming out of his pocket and it's not like the organization planned on going over the cap. They were 3rd on the salaries list before the free agent signings started and after the other teams update their salaries the Wizards will be around 13 or 14th which will get them to the first round of the playoffs again. But if that makes the fans happy then I know why this country is no longer the super power of the world.

I'm sure if Cheap Abe knew the cap was going to come down this year they would have made sure they were under. That's why they traded the 1st round pick and signed Fabricio Oberto (the spurs signed McDyess and Detroit cut him and signed Ben Wallace) for the league minimum so they wouldn't have to spend a dime of this years money.

What is wrong with you people?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 7, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I am going to attach idiot to bulletsfan78, bc that is what you are!

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 7, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721

Have you ever notice the name when you sign in? It's called the WIZARDS INSIDER?

That's all I care about is them winning a championship.

The problem with you and this country is everyone has to be politically correct and can't tell the truth anymore. In little leauge everyone has to get playing time, we can't even tell the geeks they aren't good enough to play because we might hurt their feelings. They need to learn since they will never make a living at playing sports, they should go out and try to do something else with their life.

Sorry to tell you, but in real life...that's how it works.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 7, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

If not you end up like kal.....

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 7, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I remember Kwame Brown as being a late riser in that draft -- a guy who came from behind to pass Chandler and Curry, who had been getting a lot of pub for more than a year (partly because they were in LA and Chicago). Brown had even signed with Florida thinking he wouldn't get picked by the NFL. But he had that All-World physique and he apparently trashed Chandler in a workout.

An impulse choice, I would guess. Gasol was leagues better even then. Then the Bulls came along and picked the other two high-schoolers, to their eventual chagrin.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 8, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

'scuse me, I meant the NBA. But looking at the guy, you can't help thinking Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Jordan slowed down the Zards when he played here. He couldn't guard anyone who was quick and he demanded the ball all the time. He was probably the greatest player who ever lived -- in Chicago. Here, he was a has-been they would have been better without. And, then there is that stint as GM when he picked Kwame Brown.

Posted by: dolph924 | August 8, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Bulletsfan,

You can want them to win a championship all you want. We all do. But, constantly calling Abe "cheap" makes you sound stupid and it's simply not true. Like I said, I've been following this team forever, and there were years of pure mismanagement and even years were they were not fiscally in good shape. Since say the late 90's, Abe has spent more and has done better at trying to put a winning team on the court. Today, he has a top notch guy in the front office and not a marketing gimmick genuis in Susan "promote the other team's stars" O'Malley and he has spent plenty to make us a very competitive if not championship level team. In a market like DC, it's a little harder to field a championship team. The NBA is geared towards the Celtics, Lakers, and the Knicks or teams that are lucky enough to get a LeBron or Duncan or Wade in the draft. Telling that the year we finally get a crack at the 1st pick in the draft there were no "franchise" players available. Today, we just need a little luck, not more money. And, it's still ignoring his heroic charitable endeavors his entire life in DC. So, it has nothing to do with being politically correct, it has everything to do with being correct period.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 8, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

kal,
everyone knows rip can score. just because he led the team in scoring doesn't make him the team leader. nash,kidd and a host of other players on other teams are outscored by teamates but stii are the leaders of their respective squads.

rphilli,
i'm not the only person that thinks mike got a raw deal from Abe. all of this revitilization really came on the back of mike filling the seats and giving people a reason to come there. gallery place as we know it now wasn't even put together until 2004 a year after mike left and the season before the first playoff run. the city did contribute 59 million into that portion of the gallery place project. so Abe built a stadium which encouraged surroundig business but with his own money, but the city did contribute a few mill of its own to make sure that the surrounding businesses got built, the article doesn't cite any contribution from polin. it seems like he felt like he had spent enough already. http://www.naiop.org/developmentmag/specialsections/200504indexd.cfm

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 9, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10

The people on here don't want to take the time to find out the real facts about Cheap Abe, they want to live with their false perception of the man that saved the city.

Don't you know if Abe didn't build the Verizon Center DC would have had to declare bankruptcy, the government would have moved back to Philadelphia, Metro would have stopped running and DC would be a ghost town?

Just think of all of those championships and parades we would have missed out on!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

moshinsk1,

I am certain he never scored 50 with the Wiz.
=============


You are wrong.
In his first season, he scored 51 against Charlotte, followed by 45 against the Nets on New Year's Eve.

The game before the 51 point game he only scored 6 points - one of the worst games of his entire career.

Posted by: moshinsk1 | August 10, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

(he had 3 more 40+ games in his first season, and 3 more in his second.. but those two december games stand out the most)

Posted by: moshinsk1 | August 10, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Kalo thanks for clearing that up for me and calling me out so thoroughly on my lies. Clearly you have lots of good free time on your hands.

I was totally lying about my opinion that most people thought Kwame Brown was a risk but he was still at the top of almost everyone's draft board right alongside Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry two other high schoolers. And that looking back anyone could easily say he was the wrong choice but few people if any said that at the time because we drafted Kwame for his potential. And unless Jordan had a crystal ball he would have never known how Kwame would turn out and he obviously made the pick for the guy he thought was best.

And I was simply reaching into what was it? "My crap box for more crap?" (LOL!) when I said that most of the fans originally thought that Kwame was a good choice. I don't remember anyone being upset initially at the selection. It wasn't a surprise and none of the sportscasters said that the Wizards had made a mistake. Not until we realized that Kwame Brown had no work ethic and a fragile psyche that it was obvious he was a bad draft choice.

But my biggest lie and crap opinion was when I said something to the effect of the Jordan made a decision to avoid negative consequences. Wait a minute... shouldn't you always make a decision to avoid negative consequences? I always thought you wanted to make a decision that would have positive a effect on your team. Or that must just be more crap from my crap box.

Posted by: mjshabba | August 10, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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