Michael Jordan responds to critics

Charlotte Bobcats notch 22 straight losses

Published On: Apr 26 2012 07:18:08 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 27 2012 12:19:13 AM EDT

His critics piling up by the week, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan finally came forward Wednesday to defend himself, his top executives and his franchise.

Wednesday morning former Bobcats coach Larry Brown went on the Dan Patrick radio show, saying those around Jordan "don't have a clue" and made him "sick" when he worked there. Brown went so far as to suggest Jordan planted "spies" in the traveling party to check up on the coaches.

Jordan responded with an exclusive interview in the Charlotte Observer, strongly denying the perception he surrounds himself with close friends and yes men.

"It's absolutely wrong that I don't want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren't in the room," Jordan told the Observer.

"The idea that people can't do that is just wrong. Curtis (Polk, team vice chairman) has worked with me for over 20 years and he's never had a problem telling me no. Rod (Higgins, president of basketball operations) has no problem telling me no. Fred (Whitfield, team president) has no problem telling me no. And Rich (Cho, general manager) is about as direct and candid a person as you'll ever meet.

Jordan said that while he knew that this would be a trying season, he never anticipated the team being this bad, and it certainly wasn't the plan (as some have speculated) to pursue the most chances in the May 30 draft lottery.

For the record, it was 22 straight losses: The Bobcats lost to the Magic 102-95. At least they were competitive.

The team's last chance to avoid the record for worst team ever will be at home against the Knicks.