Jordan's Bobcats could become NBA's worst ever

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 26, 2012
Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest NBA player ever, is poised to become the owner of the worst team in league history. His embarrassingly bad Charlotte Bobcats have one more shot to avoid the title. Heading into Thursday night's regular-season finale, the Bobcats are teetering on the verge of the worst winning percentage (.106) ever and could clinch the dubious distinction with a loss at home to the New York Knicks in the lockout-shortened season. Charlotte is a woeful 7-58 and its record-setting futility would eclipse the 39-year-old mark held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. That team finished 9-73 (.110) in a full regular season. Jordan led Chicago to six NBA championships, but his Bobcats get no respect - Charlotte has become the butt of jokes. ''It has been tough, but we are just trying to move forward,'' guard D.J. Augustin said. ''Many people are laughing at us and making (the streak) as a joke, but we take it very seriously. We are just trying to stay positive and play hard until the end.'' With a loss to the Knicks the Bobcats would finish the season with a 23-game losing streak - ironically the same number Jordan wore with the Bulls. The streak is a franchise record, topping the 16-game skid from earlier in the season. The NBA record is 26 straight losses set last season by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Coach Paul Silas certainly would like to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the coach of the worst team ever. ''If we get a win it will be the best thing that has happened to us all season,'' Silas said. While Jordan was known as an intense competitor on the court, his team hasn't been very competitive this season. The Bobcats have lost 21 games by 20 or more points and nine by 30 points or more. Staggering numbers but not surprising considering Charlotte is last in the league in scoring and shooting percentage. Jordan told the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday that he knew this was going to be a trying year, but didn't expect it would be this bad. ''But did we want to chase the most pingpong balls (in the May 30 draft lottery)? No way,'' Jordan told the newspaper. ''Ever since I've owned the team I think we've made some very positive moves on the business side. We had to make a difficult decision to turn over the talent. This year the talent we had didn't respond, but that doesn't cause me to turn my back on the plan.'' The top six players from the Bobcats' lone playoff team two season ago - Stephen Jackson (San Antonio), Gerald Wallace (New Jersey), Raymond Felton (Portland), Boris Diaw (Sacramento), Nazr Mohammed (Oklahoma City) and Tyson Chandler (New York) - all are gone, having either been traded or waived under Jordan's watch. The Bobcats' current roster is full of inexperienced players. ''I keep reminding myself it's a young team,'' Silas said. Jordan has asked fans to be patient. The Bobcats should be more than $20 million under the salary cap, which means they could make some noise in free agency. They also have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the draft, likely to be Kentucky's Anthony Davis. Still, that means little to this group of players who are focused on avoiding being tagged as the worst team in NBA history. Swingman Gerald Henderson called this year a learning process. ''Nobody in here is used to losing like we have lost this year,'' he said. ''It just kind of humbles you and teaches you a lot about what it takes to be successful in this game. It also teaches you what it takes to have a good team in the NBA. ''Hopefully we will come out with a win'' against New York. The Knicks have already clinched a playoff spot and cannot enhance their seeding, so it's possible they may rest several starters against the Bobcats. ''If we play like we played (against Orlando in Wednesday night's 102-95 loss) I think we'll have a chance,'' Silas said. Jordan doesn't seem to be taking the losing too hard. He attended a Chicago Blackhawks playoff game on Monday night rather than watching his Bobcats play on the road at Washington. Perhaps one of the NBA's greatest winners is tired of losing. --- AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Orlando contributed to this report.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker