Toronto Raptors Coach Butch Carter said Wizards President of Basketball Operations Michael Jordan could have some impact practicing with the team, which Jordan did on Monday. But until Jordan, or somebody else, can find a way to manage Washington's excessive salary cap, change will come slowly.
"The only one who's going to be able to move that cap is Jesus Christ and we haven't seen him in 2000 years," Carter said, referring to the salary cap as a whole.
Jordan was not with the Wizards tonight. He left Washington today and went to Atlanta, where he and partners John Elway and Wayne Gretzky launched an on-line sporting goods company.
Carter avoided questions regarding Jordan's move into Washington's front office until tonight, when he addressed a wide range of topics, all of which came back to the management of the salary cap. The Wizards are roughly $17 million over the $34 million salary cap and probably won't be able to clear significant room under the cap until after the 2000-2001 season.
"If you have guys maxed out over the cap and performing at less than face value, then you've got problems," Carter said.
Along those lines, Carter went on to say that Jordan's presence would be an asset and will make Washington a more attractive place for prospective free agents. As far as coaching against the Wizards, Carter said he would not change his game plan just because Jordan is in the front office.
"He's not going to make a basket," Carter said. "As long as Superman's cape stays retired it doesn't make a difference to me. I've got to play Washington four times."
Practicing with the Wizards, Carter said, could have some effect, albeit slight. Jordan has said he would continue practicing with the team as long as he is physically able.
"It's a matter of what your focus is," Carter said. "If you haven't had good practices, just because he's going to be there is not going to make them good practices. What ends up happening in that superstar situation is he ends up motivating one or two guys but the other guys can never be able to comprehend what he's talking about."
The "Wizards Cook for the Home Team" dinner scheduled for Thursday night at the Red Sage restaurant has been canceled because of poor weather, team officials said. The event was set to benefit the Wizards' partnership with the Fannie Mae Foundation to revitalize District neighborhoods.