Report: Step taken to help Jordan's return to NBA
Updated: Thursday August 23, 2001 1:36 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Another step has been taken to pave the way for Michael Jordan's possible return to the NBA, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
The newspaper, citing three sources, said NBA commissioner David Stern, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, and a close friend of Jordan's, Curtis Polk, met last week in New York to discuss a scenario that would possibly allow Jordan to play for the Washington Wizards.
The plan reportedly calls for Jordan to sell his minority share of ownership in the Wizards to Abe Pollin. Jordan then would purchase a larger ownership share in the Capitals than he had in the Wizards. He also might buy a share of the MCI Center.
NBA bylaws prevent anyone who has an ownership stake in a franchise to play for a team. Jordan said this week that he would not return to the NBA if his comeback preparations don't progress as quickly as he'd like.
"I don't want to make a fool of myself," Jordan was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times.
"If I don't think it can be done, I'll have no problem saying it. I'm not going to be pushed into this."
However, the former Chicago Bulls star still has not ruled out a return to the court.
"I can honestly say I haven't decided anything," Jordan said.
Jordan, president of basketball operations for the Wizards, has been struggling with knee tendinitis. He also cracked two ribs during a June workout and has fought back spasms recently.
"I'm still confident," Jordan said. "I'm gauging my strength, my legs, my conditioning, the things I'll need to determine if I can play at the level I want to be at. Right now, I'm not there. I'm going to keep trying to get there. We'll see."