Jordan's comments from February's Town Hall Meeting
Updated: Wednesday March 14, 2001 2:01 PM
By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
On reading Rick Reilly's column in Sports Illustrated, what flashed through my mind were the exchanges I had with Michael Jordan on Feb. 11. He was in Washington to watch the NBA All-Star Game and attended our CNN Late Edition Town Hall Meeting at the Newseum just outside Washington, D.C.
At the town hall meeting were NBA commissioner David Stern, NBA Players' Association president Billy Hunter and Jordan's two agents, David Falk and Curtis Polk. Here are some excerpts:
Blitzer: You've got to take a look at what's happening right now and say, "I really miss not being inside the game."
Jordan: Well, I do miss the game quite a bit, in all honesty. If you didn't love the game, and you would not have the love for the game, if you get away from the game, quite frankly you are going to have to have some remembrance of being away from the game. But I do have those itches; I love watching the young players play. I think, to some degree, they are very, very exciting.
Blitzer: Well, you could change all that, you know, with a quick decision that would electrify the game and cause a huge celebration around the world.
Jordan: Well, I think Mario Lemieux got everybody starting to think that way, but in all honesty I'm very happy where I am. And I still have a challenge ahead of me in Washington.
Blitzer: Michael Jordan, you single-handedly could turn those ratings, the attendance records, you could turn it around if you just changed your mind. You have done it before.
Jordan: You know, in all honesty, a lot of people want to attribute that to Michael Jordan during the era that he played. I think a lot was the effort and the way we played, to some degree. I was in the league for a long period of time, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and those guys were winning. Mature guys, they were playing a style of basketball that the fans really enjoyed. And then, when I got to the point where my team was mature to some degree and we started playing that type of basketball, I think that was something that the fans loved. And I think some of that has dropped off over the last couple of years.