--While the team he owns, the Charlotte Bobcats, continue their free-fall to the worst record in NBA history, Michael Jordan was in Chicago attending a Blackhawks game and a Cubs game this week. The Sun-Times' Rick Telander concludes the Jordan is a terrible owner.
--Jordan's former coach, Larry Brown -- freshly hired at Southern Methodist -- opened up about his tenure with the Bobcats, saying on the "Dan Patrick Show" that Jordan was surrounded by incompetent people who served as "spies."
The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell took Brown's words as a shot at team president Rod Higgins, but Bonnell adds that Brown hardly helped matters with his own behavior.
This morning, Jordan talked to Bonnell and said Brown had a lot of input in Charlotte, and that "I've come to accept I'll be scrutinized more than any other owner."
Don't you love it when legends fight?
Jordan, by the way, said this about his GM, Rich Cho, who was fired by the Blazers almost a year ago because of his supposed lack of chemistry with owner Paul Allen: "Rich is about as direct and candid a person as you'll ever meet."
--Congratulations to the Utah Jazz, who clinched a playoff berth with their win over Phoenix last night. The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian Smith reports that the berth validated the Jazz's resurgence after last season's tumult that saw coach Jerry Sloan resign and the team trade franchise cornerstone Deron Williams.
Utah has the kind of size that could give San Antonio trouble in the first round, but the Jazz could still move past Denver to No. 7, which would pit them against Oklahoma City in the first round. Three things would have to happen: Denver would have to lose its final two games, at OKC tonight and at Minnesota on Thursday; then Utah would have to beat visiting Portland on Thursday.
That could be an interesting decision for Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin -- if Utah has a chance to move up a spot Thursday, would he play all his guys against the Blazers? Or is the rest more important than seeding and matchup?
--The depleted Suns just didn't have the firepower to stay with Utah, the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro reports. Now the big question: Will tonight's season finale against visiting San Antonio be Steve Nash's last game in the Suns uniform?
--The Lakers' Metta World Peace received a seven-game suspension for his elbow on OKC's James Harden. In Los Angeles, the Lakers were accepting of the penalty, the L.A. Times' Mike Bresnahan reports, while columnist Bill Plascke writes that the Lakers were lucky the punishment wasn't harsher.
In Oklahoma City, center Kendrick Perkins said the punishment seemed right, and the Thunder turned to more pressing matters, such as how they would function while Harden is out while recovering from the concussion and brain bruise he sustained, the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel reports.
This is a classic case where neither side of the argument ends up happy. World Peace has been suspended nine previous times by the league, so there seems to be reason to go harsher. But seven games is hardly light. The only way to really resolve this to anyone's satisfaction is to jump in the Wayback Machine and prevent the elbow from connecting.
--Kudos to the New Orleans Hornets, who beat Golden State last night to climb into a tie with Sacramento at 21-44. Sure, they are still tied for the worst record in the West, but the Hornets are finishing strong, winning six of their last eight. New Orleans won despite coach Monty Williams using his 27th different starting lineup of the season, the Times-Picayune's John Reid reports.
--Even hotter than the Hornets in New Orleans is the debate about the team's new nickname. Among the suggestions from Times-Picayune readers: Revelers, Crescents, JAM-balayas, Poor Boys, Yats, Angels, Buzz and Mormon Tabernacle Choir -- as a way to exact revenge against Utah for keeping the Jazz.
--Golden State underwent a front-office shakeup as Bob Myers was promoted to general manager, something that was inevitable but accelerated because of the upcoming draft and free agency, Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson reports. Around here, Myers is best known as Brandon Roy's former agent.
--The internal battle in the players' union continues to get nasty, with ESPN obtaining a memo in which the executive committee accuses president Derek Fisher of shirking his duties. Fisher, on the other hand, accuses Billy Hunter of nepotism. What's puzzling is why they don't wait until after the season to handle all this stuff.
--Here we go again -- Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings co-owner George Maloof will meet in person this week in what could be a make-or-break session in the city's arena deal to keep the Kings, the Sacramento Bee's Ryan Lillis reports. All those previous meetings in which deals were made, then later broken, don't seem to count.
--Don Nelson hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for the Blazers head coach opening. But if you were Don Nelson, would you even pick up the phone if Larry Miller called? Nelson is upgrading some of his 20-plus acres of Maui property, which includes an acre and a half of beachfront land, the Pacific Business News' Duane Shimogawa reports.
Maybe he could send a brochure to Michael Jordan and Larry Brown ...
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