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Michael Jordan's hero image tarnished in NBA negotiations

Former player Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls addresses the crowd as teammate Scottie Pippen listens during a 20th anniversary recognition ceremony of the Bulls 1st NBA Championship in 1991 on March 12, 2011 in Chicago, Ill.

Steve Chiotakis: Regardless of the final outcome of the NBA labor negotiations, basketball legend --
and current Charlotte Bobcats owner -- Michael Jordan, could end up taking a big hit to his superstar image.

Sally Herships explains.


Sally Herships: To basketball fans, Michael Jordan is a genuine hero -- possibly the greatest player of all time.

Kenneth Shropshire: A lot of that was certainly due to his determination and focus and leadership on the court.

Kenneth Shropshire is director of Wharton's Sports Business Initiative. He says Jordan took his skills with him when he moved from player to owner. But while Jordan was tough on the court, at the bargaining table he's seen as ruthless. Wizards player Nick Young even tweeted that he won't wear his Air Jordans any more.

Victor Matheson: Michael Jprdan always wanted to win at everything, no matter what side of the debate he's on.

Victor Matheson is a sports economist at College of the Holy Cross. He says wherever Jordan is, he's always been known as a tough negotiator, cutting great deals -- for himself.

Matheson: As of last year, he was actually still the highest paid basketball player in the world, despite having not played in almost 15 years.

But Matheson says the longer Jordan is away from the game, the harder it will be for him to maintain his brand. Especially if active players stop wearing his shoes.

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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