We have two recent stories in national media about Michael Jordan's presence in Charlotte today (h/t @chrislittmann). Both highlight Jordan's uneasiness with the notion that this city demands he be present and provide a personal touch, but he's plowing ahead and trying his best to make it work.
What we have here is unprecedented: The most marketable athlete in America, ever, putting his own millions into principal ownership of a team which, by the way, has bled money for all six years of its existence, with losses totaling $80 million to $100 million.
[Michael] Jordan says his goal is to turn the team into a winner, both in the standings and on the balance sheet; to pass it on to his children as a family legacy.
"The biggest investment I have is this team," Jordan said of the franchise he bought for $275 million in March. "I have to make it work and I feel like I have found my niche.
"I am comfortable in this city. I know my way around. And my commitment isn’t just my name."
But since February, Mr. Jordan has shown his face more often. At Selwyn Avenue Pub, where bartenders say he comes every couple of weeks, he hangs out in a secluded area where he dines on the $8 meat lover's pizza and occasionally chats with other patrons and poses for pictures.
One bartender, Derek Klomstad, said Mr. Jordan is generally nice—but when he offered Mr. Jordan a high-five after a Bobcats win last season, Mr. Jordan didn't acknowledge his hand. "He's doing what he has to do as owner," said John Crigler, a pub regular who has seen Mr. Jordan there. "You can tell he doesn't love it, but he's trying."