Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Michael Jordan gets one right

Four years ago, I wrote that Michael Jordan couldn't save basketball in Charlotte. His track record for building a team was dismal and he showed little desire to use his celebrity to charm the disinterested and angry masses.

Four years later, Jordan is responsible for the 2011-12 team that posted the worst winning percentage in the history of the N.B.A., followed by this past season's version that produced the second-worst record in the league.

NBA Mitchell & Ness - Charlotte Hornets Snapback Hats Cap 2 Tone Arch Logo - Purple/BlueIf you're going to lose, you better at least be likeable in the community. But the Bobcats haven't been able to pull that off, either. There are no beloved stars on the roster. There is no history to fall back on, at least, no history to this franchise that anyone cares to revisit. There isn't much to like, as the empty seats make clear.

So Jordan has done the only thing he could do to make this team embraceable in the community again: He has decided to rename the franchise the Hornets. For the few who don't know, that's the name of the former N.B.A. franchise here before it moved to New Orleans in 2002.

Some will no doubt look to the bottom line and question whether it is a cost-effective move for the franchise. Yes, it will be an expensive proposition. But Jordan really doesn't have much choice at this point.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Would you want your daughter to play for Mulkey?

This is what parents and potential recruits should know about Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey: The players are less important than the program and less important than Mulkey. At least that much was apparent in former player Brittney Griner's recent interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW.com.

According to Griner, she made clear she was a lesbian when originally recruited by Mulkey to play there.

"I was like, 'I'm gay. I hope that's not a problem,' " Griner said she told Mulkey at the time, "and she told me that it wasn't."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The three things I did not write about Nascar

There has been a lot of reaction to my column from Tuesday on Nascar's silence regarding Jason Collins, some of it supportive and some of it ugly. That's OK. My hope with my blog is to start a discussion. In that regard, I feel as if I succeeded.

As one respected national reporter wrote to me this morning, "it clearly struck a chord, and that's the job of any great columnist, right? If you're not stoking emotions, you're not doing your job." I was also heartened to receive a thumbs up on facebook from Robert Lipsyte, the author and longtime columnist and writer for The New York Times who was recently named the new ombudsman for ESPN.

I am happy to defend my words, but too many people are inserting their own meaning into those words and asking me to defend their interpretation of my column. I can't possibly do that.

So I want to point out three things I did not write: