Scott Fowler

Michael Jordan to Golden State owner: ‘73 don’t mean ----’

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan (left) yells at an official at a Hornets game in January. Golden State owner Joe Lacob said in a radio interview Tuesday that Jordan had told him the Warriors’ 73-win season a year ago was essentially meaningless.
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan (left) yells at an official at a Hornets game in January. Golden State owner Joe Lacob said in a radio interview Tuesday that Jordan had told him the Warriors’ 73-win season a year ago was essentially meaningless. AP

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has told Golden State’s owner that the Warriors’ 73-win season a year ago was essentially meaningless – a message that offers a clue as to what MJ thinks about his own team these days.

Joe Lacob, who owns the Warriors, appeared on a San Francisco Bay Area radio station Tuesday and said Jordan told him during some down time during a meeting of NBA owners in New York that because Golden State didn’t win the title in 2016 that “73 don’t mean ----.”

The Warriors won 73 games in the 2015-16 regular season – breaking the regular-season record of 72 wins held by Jordan’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls – but then lost a 3-1 lead to Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Lacob described it this way in his radio interview: “On the collective bargaining agreement, I was on the labor committee and I was in New York having a bunch of dinners with Michael Jordan and other owners.... Anyway, Michael Jordan – people are drinking and having a good time and all that, but there was a moment where he said, you know, ‘73 don’t mean ----.’ He did it. Michael Jordan did that. And I looked at him and I just decided not to make a big deal of it. I said: ‘You know, you’re right, we didn’t win it, we had to get better.’ ... He (Jordan) is fantastic, and I’m not going to cross him, but that kind of hurt.”

He is fantastic, and I’m not going to cross him, but that kind of hurt.

Golden State owner Joe Lacob on Michael Jordan’s comment about the Warriors’ 73-win season a year ago.

Lacob believes 73 does mean something. When he plays golf, he wears a cap with the number “73” on it as what he called “a remembrance” of the greatest regular season in NBA history (a season fueled by two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry of Charlotte).

In Jordan’s “all-or-nothing” world, though, you either win the championship or you fail. And I get that. I don’t necessarily believe it – a silver medal to me is a lot better than finishing 19th – but I get it.

The comment also makes you understand how disappointed Jordan is about the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have never won even a single playoff series with Jordan as their majority owner, and the current version of the team is 24-28 after finally snapping a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night.

I would love to ask Jordan that question and many others, but he often goes months and even years these days without taking questions from the local media.

If “73 don’t mean ----,” however – and the way Lacob told the story, you have little doubt that the curse word he was referring to that Jordan said starts with an ‘s’ – you can bet that these Hornets are falling very short in their own owner’s mind once again.

Because if “73” doesn’t mean anything, “24” sure doesn’t.

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