In a recent sit down with Marvin Shanken of “Cigar Aficionado,” Michael Jordan (who is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets) explained why one of basketball’s most popular new trends could be hurting the NBA.
“I think you want to be able to have competitive balance in the league,” Jordan said. “And if a player is able to choose/determine what team he wants to play for, then you are going to have some talent discrepancy in the league. So if everybody wants to go to Chicago, then all the best players are going to be in Chicago. You start to see a little bit of it now where all the stars try to get together on the same team, but I think it’s going to start to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. Only one or two teams will be great and the other 28 will be garbage.”
Superteams have become increasingly common in today’s NBA, with the Warriors, Cavaliers, Heat, having assembled a roster of at least three All-Stars. Other teams like the Nets, Rockets, Lakers, and Clippers have at least two All-Stars. In all these cases, stars have intentionally worked out their path to team up with another.
Small markets teams, like Jordan’s Hornets, are often left in the backburner as the best players pursue the easy path to Championships and fame.
That’s not to say Jordan didn’t have his own superteam, of course. He played with some amazing players that included Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, and Horace Grant. Unlike many players today, however, Jordan never left the Bulls to join another star, even after failing to win a title for years before his first three-peat.
Nowadays, guys are wanting to chart the easy path instead of sticking it out with their current teams. And while that’s all well and good, don’t be surprised to see this cycle of sparse league parity continue, and teams like the Hornets continue to struggle to find success.