On the heels of one NBA general manager telling ESPN The Magazine that his franchise will lose games on purpose to increase the chances of improving their draft position, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan scoffed at the suggestion Friday.
"I don't believe in that," Jordan told the Associated Press before the Bobcats evened their record at 1-1 with a 90-84 victory over Cleveland in their home opener. "That's not something that we would do."
Jordan pointed out that NBA teams are assured of landing a franchise player with a lottery draft pick. The 2014 draft class includes what many believe will be future stars in 6-foot-8 forwards Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Jabari Parker of Duke, 6-4 point guard Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State and 6-9 forward Julius Randle of Kentucky.
"It's not guaranteed [the player] you are going to get is going to be that star anyway," said Jordan, the Bobcats' majority owner the last three seasons. "I did read that certain teams are thinking about doing it. But I'm not one of them. So let's alleviate that conversation."
Then again, the Bobcats have annually been among the worst teams in the NBA. Charlotte was 21-61 last season and has a record of 62-168 for the last three seasons.
"We're focused on what we're trying to do," Jordan said. "I think the direction we're moving is positive.… It is baby steps. Every now and again you have a hiccup. But I must admit that we're headed in the right direction and I'm very happy with that."
Jordan said he understands criticism of his leadership as he tries to rebuild the club, which continued last off-season with the acquisition of veteran center Al Jefferson.
"You set certain standards as a player that transcend whatever you do," Jordan said. "It goes where you go. You will be wearing that around your neck so that when people see the name they expect the results.
"It's somewhat unfair but it is what it is. I don't let it define me."