Michael Jordan says he’s “in it for the long haul’’ as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, telling the Observer Thursday morning he sees the team as his family business going forward.
Some highlights from Jordan’s 23-minute interview:
--He said the franchise is open to a nickname switch should New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson follow through on changing that team’s name. Some fans want the Hornets name and logo back in Charlotte.
--He said he told the players to stop griping about new coach Mike Dunlap’s long practices, that they need the fundamental drills he’s employed: “You can’t say we don’t need that stuff. If so, we wouldn’t be going 7-59 as a team.’’
--Jordan also said he’s advised the players, “Either you’re in or you’re not going to be here.’’
--Jordan described rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as a “connector,’’ comparing him to former Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen: “He’s a very versatile guy. He’s motivated. He loves to play and play hard.’’
--He said the Bobcats “made a couple of calls’’ about shooting guard James Harden’s availability before the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Harden to the Houston Rockets this week.
--He said co-captain Gerald Henderson “gets it. He shows signs of being a leader. These are the things we’re expecting from Gerald,’’ adding he’s “pretty sure’’ Henderson will be asking for a big raise to stay here in his next contract.
--Jordan said he still believes the Bobcats could be an attractive destination for major free agents down the road, but “I also understand we’ve got to get our house in order, to make that attractive to people.’’