It is hard to imagine Michael Jordan being a part of the circus that passes for the LeBron James sweepstakes. LeBron has made a spectacle of his recruitment. He tore his Cavalier jersey off as soon as the team lost to the Celtics, declaring himself free. He will now explore what teams like the Bulls, Knicks, Nets, and Heat will offer him.
Jordan never went through this ordeal. He consistently re-signed with the Bulls during the prime of his career, avoiding this type of fiasco. It seems that his agent, David Falk, wouldn’t have let something like this overtake his client.
Falk made Jordan into the first sports mega-star. He had a vision and Jordan helped him carry out that vision. Falk wanted to make an athlete the most popular entertainer on the planet and he succeeded. Everyone wanted to “be like Mike.”
It makes one wonder whether James is being mismanaged. Granted, times have changed and young sports fans aren’t as naive about money or off-field indiscretions as they may have been in the Jordan era. However, is James really portraying himself in a positive light?
So far, all indications show that James is about to turn his back on the organization that made him a millionaire. Jordan and Falk never did this. They were loyal to the Bulls and Jerry Reinsdorf for Jordan’s entire “first” career. In return, Reinsdorf was loyal to them, even paying out Jordan’s basketball contract while he spent time playing minor league baseball with the Birmingham Barons.
Maybe, James’ agent, Leon Rose, and advisor, William Wesley, need to take a few lessons from the Jordan and Falk regime. Maybe, they need to handle their situation with a bit more tact and make James appear loyal to his current employer, the Cleveland Cavaliers. It seems that Falk and Jordan never lost perspective on who was signing their checks every two weeks. James remains an employee of the Cleveland Cavaliers until July 1st, he should remain commited publicly to that franchise until then.