Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown -- arguably the team's greatest asset at this point -- said he'd be anxious about an ownership change that results in Michael Jordan no longer running the basketball operation.
Brown also said he needs Jordan fully engaged by running the team. Jordan wasn't in Charlotte Thursday, when the Bobcats worked out lottery picks Stephen Curry of Davidson and Gerald Henderson of Duke.
"He's special and great to be around. We need him engaged and involved,'' Brown said of Jordan Friday. "If he's gone, he's the guy who hired me. You don't know who'd be coming in here (to run the team) and how they feel abouu the job we did, our capabilities.
"But I have no control over that. I'm going to do the best I can. Our staff's going to do the best it can to get us better.''
So would Brown be less comfortable coaching the Bobcats in Jordan's absence?
"It depends on who it would be,'' Brown said of new management. "But I came here because of Michael.''
The Observer first reported that majority owner Bob Johnson has retained a sports investment banker to look for bids for controlling interest in the team. NBA commissioner David Stern's comments about the Bobcats, at a press conference Thursday, suggest a sale is a inevitable.
Jordan, a minority partner with control of basketball decisions, has said in the past he'd be interested in majority control. Jordan hasn't commented lately on how interested he'd be in buying the team.
Brown addressed several other issues Friday:
- He said he's still receptive to coaching Allen Iverson, who'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but wonders whether the Bobcats -- a team far from championship contention -- is the right fit for Iverson this late in his career. Brown coached Iverson in Philadelphia in what was a successful, but sometimes combustible, relationship.
- He said rookie Alexis Ajinca, currently working out in Dallas, needs to be more coachable next season. Brown said Ajinca didn't handle not playing very well. Brown now thinks it would have been beneficial for Ajinca to play more last season in the development league.
- He said veteran center Nazr Mohammed was probably disrespected by not playing more last season. Brown commended Mohammed for how hard he's working this off-season to, in effect, force more playing time out of the coaching staff.