Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Honey I'm Still Free

Here at JPO we always enjoy an opportunity to refer back to the originally sinful event where, well, Jordan pushed off. ESPN's Henry Abbott wrote a post today expressing his dismay that Michael Jordan, surprise!, did not appear in Provo, Utah last night to compete with Bryon Russell at an advertised 1-on-1 game. Anyone with common sense could see that Jordan never had any incentive to participate in this purported event. What really galls me, though, is that ESPN aided and abetted the promotion of this hoax via (1) having Bryon Russell appear on an official ESPN.com chat on December 7th to plug the alleged 1-on-1 game and (2) a bubbly post from Abbott himself on December 3rd outlining the proposed contest, suggesting (against all common sense) that there was a non-zero probability that Jordan might appear.

One could argue that the NBA likes the publicity for its Development League teams, and Disney/ESPN, as a broadcast partner of the league, has an interest in promoting the (erstwhile-named) NBDL. But the odd thing is that Jordan is a part-owner of the Bobcats, and thus David Stern and the other NBA central officers work for him. There is a clear principal-agent conflict here (or more accurately, perhaps we could just say that the problem is one of too many principals): Jordan himself probably did not enjoy this whole episode, as it redounds to augment a Grinchy image for MJ that began with September's HOF speech.

Mickey Mouse is rolling over in his grave.

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