Unhappy birthday for Michael Jordan?

Charlotte Bobcats owner, Michael Jordan sits beside fiancee, Yvette Prieto during the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 10, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Charlotte Bobcats owner, Michael Jordan sits beside fiancee, Yvette Prieto during the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 10, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) Happy birthday, Michael Jordan! Today the NBA legend turns 49.

But considering the woeful state of the team he runs and a recent legal setback, "His Airness" may not be in the mood to celebrate.

The Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats are 3-26 and flirting with NBA futility.

Because of the lockout-shortened season Charlotte won't challenge the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers' record of 72 losses. However, the Bobcats have lost 16 straight games and have a worse winning percentage (.103) than that infamous 76ers team.

"Everybody wants to make history but you don't want to make history that way," said Bobcats guard Matt Carroll, currently in his second stint with Charlotte. "You don't want to be that team."

Jordan isn't talking as the losses continue to mount.

Meanwhile, on Thursday a federal judge ruled that a national grocery store chain's reference to Jordan in an ad-like magazine layout was constitutionally protected free speech - a decision that thwarts the former Chicago Bulls player's bid for control of his billion-dollar image.

In a finding that surprised some legal observers, the court in Chicago concluded Jewel-Osco wasn't endeavoring to sell anything with the page featuring basketball shoes emblazoned with "23," Jordan's Bulls jersey number.

Alas, the numbers don't lie. Jordan can't be happy about his Bobcats' lowly three wins or his inability to safeguard his legendary "23" -- but hopefully he'll enjoy his 49th birthday. Here's one number that might cheer him up: $500 million (his estimated net worth).

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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