Charlotte Hornets

Michael Jordan Fires Back at Robert Pera, Calls 1-on-1 Challenge 'Comical'

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 21:  Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan announces the team name change to the Charlotte Hornets at the Time Warner Cable Arena on May 21, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2013

Michael Jordan thinks Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera is a funny man.

Asked about Pera challenging him to a game of one-on-one for charity, Jordan called the wager comical, according to the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.

“I think that’s comical,’’ Jordan said. “It didn’t make any sense. Why would I play one one-on-one? It’s a no-win situation for me no matter what.”

Pera set the price tag for this potential competition at a cool $1 million, presumed pocket change to NBA owners and the guy or gal who thought to sell peanut butter and jelly in the same jar.

What I'm saying is, it's difficult to grasp the "no-win" aspect of all this for His Airness.

Jordan could lose, in which case he wouldn't be a winner. And he'd be out stacks of cash, too. But MJ wouldn't lose. He has six more NBA championships, five more league MVPs and one more Space Jam appearance than Pera.

Even if he lost, charities would still win. Can't Jordan find bliss in helping others?

Maybe he was referring to the manner in which he would win. If he went too easy on Pera, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James nuts could use his casual approach to strip him of his greatest of all-time label.

Play too hard or win too breezily, and he'll be seen as the Biff Tannen or Regina George of charity-basketball games. I can hear the public outcries now. "What're you doing, Michael? The man isn't Craig Ehlo!"

That's all assuming Pera isn't some baller prodigy masquerading as a successful businessman. There's no evidence to suggest he isn't of post-talent-stealing Monstars descent. He could hail from Moron Mountain and be here to exact revenge on Jordan for his role in humiliating the Nerdlucks nearly two decades ago.

Or he could just be who he says he is—a wildly rich basketball owner who, along with his former best friends, Visa and MasterCard, will make it his mission in life to ruin Jordan's credit history.

For the sake of his Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit scores, perhaps Jordan should reconsider. Unless owning the routinely terrible Charlotte Bobcats has done that already, in which case I guess Pera better turn his attention elsewhere.

"Mr. Cuban, I have Robert Pera on line one for you," his secretary or a producer of Shark Tank would say. "He swears this isn't about trading Zach Randolph for Dirk Nowitzki again."

 

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