The Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night in another meeting between Washington and the team owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan. Here is a look at how Jordan has been connected to the Wizards franchise over the years...
Tune in note: The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
He used to play for them
Jordan played two seasons for the Wizards in the early 2000s after sitting out three years following his second retirement from the Chicago Bulls. In those two seasons, at Age 38 and 39, Jordan averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He appeared in 142 games, including all 82 games in his second season.
The Wizards fell short of the playoffs both years he played in Washington, but what he did at his age was remarkable. He scored 40 points or more eight times and dropped 51 on the Charlotte Hornets in Dec. of 2001. He also hit a series of game-winning shots, including a famous one against Cleveland, the team he used to torment back when he played for the Bulls.
He was part owner and GM
Before Jordan returned to the game with the Wizards as a player, he joined the organization as part owner and president of basketball operations. Jordan ran the front office for two-plus years and made a series of questionable decisions. He drafted Kwame Brown first overall in 2001 and that didn't work out. He also traded Richard Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse when Stackhouse was five years older. Hamilton was later a key piece on a championship team in Detroit.
He made his NBA debut against the Bullets
Long before he established himself as the greatest player of all time, Jordan made his NBA debut as on Oct. 26, 1984 in Chicago. His Bulls beat the Washington Bullets that night by 16 points. Jordan had 16 points himself to go along with seven assists, six rebounds, four blocks and two steals. He would go on to win the rookie of the year award with averages of 28.2 points (51.5 FG%), 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
He faced the Bullets in the playoffs
The Bullets made the playoffs just once between 1988 and 2005 and that one time they faced the Chicago Bulls right in the middle of their dynasty. Back then, first round series were best-of-five games and the Bulls swept Washington in three. Jordan dropped 55 in Game 2 against a Bullets team that featured Rod Strickland, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.
That series produced one of the best Jordan stories ever told, how he walked into the Bullets locker room before one of the playoff games with a lit cigar and asked who was going to guard him that night. He then waited for the Bullets when they got off the bus in Chicago, leaning up against a Ferrari and again with a lit cigar. According to Webber, he was letting the Bullets know "he's the Red Auerbach before the game even started."
He is part owner of an esports team tied to the Wizards
Back in 2018, Jordan was part of a $26 million investment in the esports franchise, Team Liquid, which Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is a co-chairman of. According to Sports Illustrated, Magic Johnson is also an investor in Team Liquid. Leonsis reportedly helped recruit Jordan to come on board.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS: