[bfsa] WHAT IF ...

Arlene Floyd afloyd at ysu.edu
Wed Aug 20 14:13:26 EDT 2003

What if Michael Jordan, who was dismissed from the Washington Wizards,
has finally come to the conclusion that no matter how popular he was in
basketball and around the world, some little old white man controlled
his destiny. Michael Jordan's destiny. I mean he put over $40 million in
ticket sales alone in Abe Pollins coffers. The Wizards were a team that
he alone personally made popular and  profitable. He alone made the team
and organization a star attraction in every city he went to play. # 23
Jordan Wizard jerseys selling off the rack  at sporting goods stores
everywhere. Not to mention the economic impact  that  he made on
Washington DC and the league all around. But all that  doesn't  matter
because Jordan doesn't own what he created the value for.


What if immediately after that meeting with Abe Pollin, Jordan got on
his phone and called Bob Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Willie
Gary,  Magic Johnson, Russell Simmons, John Johnson, Cathy Hughes, Sean
Combs, Master P. and said "it's time." It's time for us not to own just
a team, but it's time for us to own our resources: sports and
entertainment.  Of course David Stern, Abe Pollin and other NBA owners
would be  laughing  their tails off.

Thinking, those Negroes are trying to start a league of  their own.
Then in the very next batch of calls, he calls: John Thompson, Charles
Barkley, Paul Silas, Isaiah Thomas, Maurice Cheeks,  Doc Rivers, Lenny
Wilkins and others and says we need experienced coaches for our new
league.  We have the investors, now we need coaches, general managers
and front office personnel. It's time. Will you join us in making world
history.  The laughs from Abe and David have subsided, but they are
still coming.  And  they still have doubts... Those negroes cant do it.

Then in the last  batch of calls, while Abe and David Stern are still
Michael Jordan  calls  Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant,
McGrady, Chris  Webber,  Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Tim
Duncan, Paul Pierce and  Lebron  James and says "it's time". He
"My partners and I are  starting a  new league and we need you.  We need
control what we have given to this earth in terms of our entertainment,
sports and athleticism. Without you, there is NO NBA.  Forget  your
contracts, you all are all millionaires. Come with us and lets  make

Abe and David Sterns aren't laughing anymore. They realize that there is
something serious happening and Michael Jordan, the most popular and
beloved  athlete in the world is leading the charge. Well what about
arenas, the  owners say? We own them. Fine. There are plenty of arenas
in every city that  are not being used. They are old, but hey it's a
start. So we'll lease them.

Well what about TV? No problem. Willie Gary and Cathy Hughes' companies
are  starting cable channels. We'll run our games on them for now as
well as  BET,  then we will negotiate with the major networks soon. And
with Cathy, we  got  radio broadcasting, so that isn't a problem either.

Well how do we  advertise? No problem. We get Russell Simmons, Jay-Z,
P-Diddy and  Master P.  to get every rapper and R&B singer in the world
to talk about the new  league  in all their songs. We do commercials and
videos with Bill Cosby, Spike Lee and even Oprah  yelling "The UBA is
fantastic (Universal Basketball Association, others  can  play, we just
want to own).

We get John Johnson and Earl Graves to  write  about it in Jet, Ebony
and Black Enterprise. We get FUBU, Sean John  and  Rocawear to design
the team uniforms. We get Oprah to talk about the new league and
interview players, investors, coaches on her show. We get Johnnie
Cochran and Willie Gary to head our legal team. We get actors like
Halle  Berry and Denzel Washington to publicly endorse the league and
attend  the  games.  And finally, we get Michael Jordan, the biggest
draw in the world to  put his  competitive spirit and name recognition
behind it.

There are a lot of  intangibles missing in this hypothetical situation,
but nevertheless, this  "what if" could be the trigger to set Mr. Jordan
on path that would  really put
his name in the history books. He alone has the clout to bring this to

When are African Americans going to stop hating and start cooperating
with each other to do something on this scale? When are African
Americans going to stop being used by sport owners and start thinking
OWNERSHIP? Bob Johnson is great, but he had to be voted in by 28 other
white men. If we collectively take what is ours, sports and
entertainment, and hold it back from the world until we own it, then we
can control our own destiny.

It sounds far-fetched, but IT CAN BE DONE.

Then Michael Jordan, the greatest player to ever play basketball, will
not have to worry ever again of being used by someone for personal
financial gain. If Mike owned the league, he's the one who'd be doing
the firing and hiring. And then a person like Abe Pollin would have no
choice but to respect the greatest basketball player to ever live. What

REMEMBER THESE WORDS... Those who don't understand interest pay it,
those who do, earn it.

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