Ten bullet points from Michael Jordan’s conversation with the Observer Friday:
• He says the biggest thing he’s learned as an owner is to be quicker to admit and correct mistakes. He mentioned the one-season tenure of Mike Dunlap as coach as an example. “I liked Mike, I absolutely did. I said I could have played for him. But that’s not today’s kid. The difference between Steve (Clifford) and Mike is the kids articulate what (Clifford) is saying.”
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• He singled out Josh McRoberts as an important part to the roster, in part because his savvy balances off a young roster. “The success of this team is McRoberts – how he can connect the dots.”
• He particularly likes how much the players on this team get along: “I see 15 guys who get along. The environment, the culture, in the locker room is very positive. That shows, especially on defense. It’s not that they won’t make mistakes, but there is effort. The rules and players may change, but energy and effort never changes.”
• Jordan said it’s probably more on the other Bobcats to assimilate to center Al Jefferson than the other way around: “Al knows what to do when he gets the ball in the post. We’ve never had post passers. It’s never anything we’ve had to do.”
• Jordan said the new collective bargaining agreement should make it harder for stars to band together into super teams like the Miami Heat.
• He expressed frustration that only one player – Cody Zeller – auditioned for the Bobcats in the run-up to the No. 4 pick: “You’re asking us to roll the dice when the product can’t really be seen. You’ve got that one season (before top college players turn pro) and then you don’t get to see them (when agents don’t allow workouts). It’s an even tougher process when you can’t work them out. No one gets a job without an interview.”
• What he favors in Zeller: “I like versatile guys, guys who can play multiple positions. We needed a young kid who was coachable, who had a high basketball IQ.”
• Jordan on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: “He is a hard-working kid. He’s learning on the run. It’s not that he doesn’t have talent. But it’s hard to learn in this (NBA) culture because there are so many games. (Bismack) Biyombo is the same way.”
• Jordan expects Kemba Walker to benefit greatly from working with assistant coach Mark Price.
• Jordan likes where the franchise is positioned, in terms of future first-round picks (Detroitand Portland owe the Bobcats picks) and salary-cap flexibility.