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Michael Jordan sheds light on Rod Higgins' stepping down

The Hornets had offered Higgins a new contract with different responsibilities, but he turned it down.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

In an interview with the Charlotte Observer Michael Jordan told Rick Bonnell that he had offered to give former Hornets president of basketball operations Rod Higgins a new contract, but Higgins declined due to a diminishing role.

They had agreed on financial terms but it fell apart when Jordan told him he wanted to try to distribute responsibilities and duties to fit the different talents of Higgins and Cho.

"Rod's strong points are working with the coaches and the trainers, traveling with the team," Jordan said. "He was my buffer zone with the coaches. I didn't want to overwhelm them with ideas, so I'd work with Rod on that."

[...]

"One of (Higgins') strong points is not negotiating, leveraging teams," Jordan said. "Sometimes when teams would call (proposing trades), they'd bypass Rod to get to Rich."

It's hardly shocking to hear the guy who gave Matt Carroll a six-year, $27 million contract is not good at managing finances.

The confusion over who would report to whom, as Jordan said, contributed to his decision to try to re-calibrate duties. Higgins felt it was a demotion and decided not to agree to the terms, opting to step down before the draft.

Asked about Cho's increased role, coach Steve Clifford didn't foresee any huge changes.

Asked about Cho's expanded role, Clifford said, "Rich and I have been working together all year. So I don't see that as being any different. Rich is very organized, on top of things. I know we'll be prepared for the draft and prepared for free-agency."