Good At One Thing

Michael Jordan drafted Kwame Brown with the first overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Brown was one of the biggest busts in league history, and two seasons later, after a 74-90 cumulative record, Jordan was fired as president of basketball operations.

In 2006, Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming the second largest shareholder. By 2010, MJ Basketball Holdings was the majority owner of the team. Since that time, the organization has had five different coaches, a win/loss percent of .411, and made the playoffs twice, getting bounced in the first round each time.

Below is a lift of their draft picks since 2012

  • 2012 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2nd overall
  • 2013 Cody Zeller, 4th overall
  • 2014 Noah Vonleh, 9th overall
  • 2015 Frank Kaminsky, 9th overall
  • 2016 Malachi Richardson, 22nd overall
  • 2017 Malik Monk, 11th overall
  • 2018 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 11th overall

You won’t recognize any of these names unless you’re a huge basketball fan.

Phil Jackson has two rings as a player, and eleven as a coach. So you can imagine how excited I was on March 18th, 2014, when my beloved New York Knicks signed him to a five-year $60 million deal to become president of the organization. A few highlights:

  • In 2014 they lost 65 games (out of 82) and finished with the second worst record in the league.
  • In 2015 the Knicks set a franchise record with 13 straight losses.
  • In his three seasons running the team, they lost twice as many more games as they won.

To be fair to Phil Jackson, it’s not like the Knicks were lighting the league on fire before he got there, and he did draft Porzingis, but his time with the team was an unmitigated disaster.

Recently, Magic Johnson ended his time with the Lakers as president of basketball operations. In his two years there, the team recorded 72 wins and 92 losses, and missed the playoffs both seasons.

These are some of the most successful people the game has ever seen. Michael and Magic are two of the best to ever play basketball, and Phil is one of the best to ever coach it. Their success on the court did not translate to success off it.

They were all good at one thing

The parallels to investing are obvious so I’m just going to save you some time and end this right here. Thank you for reading.