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Saturday, February 12, 2011

NBA Source: Jordan may unretire AGAIN


NBA hearts skipped a beat yesterday at word that Michael Jordan has been suiting up and practicing with the Bobcats. After running with him, Gerald Wallace reports the man is still "Mike." (Even though that's just repeating the man's name, it's that name.) And don't forget what Jordan said upon entering the Hall of Fame:
One day you might look up and see me playing the game at 50. Don't laugh. Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.
He's turning 48 next week. Paul Silas says Jordan could average 20 right now. Is he ... could he ... is this ridiculous to think about? He can't play in the NBA until he sells the Bobcats, but is it worth entertaining that he could? A while ago, I looked into the possibility of another Jordan return:


Give him some time to get in shape and Michael Jordan could average 20 points a game in today's NBA, Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas said.

A day after watching Jordan -- a Hall of Famer and Bobcats owner who turns 48 next week -- play in a full-court scrimmage with his team, Silas said his boss has still got it.
"If he got in shape he could probably average about 15 to 20 points a game, no question, because he still has the shot," Silas said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "If he got in shape, he would probably average 20 because he can get the shot off, he can make them, and he has just an uncanny knowledge of the game.

"He really understands how to play and that's why he is important to my guys and what they should be doing out there and what they should be looking for. It's just phenomenal what he can still do at that age."
Jordan, the former Chicago Bull who averaged 30.1 points a game in 15 NBA seasons, averaged 20 points in his final season with the Washington Wizards in 2003 as a 39-year-old.

He has been spending more time at practice and shootarounds recently, even doing some teaching on the floor for the Bobcats. At the end of Thursday's workout, Jordan was slumped in a chair with ice bags strapped to both knees.

"He comes and works out with the guys, we make him shoot before practice, and he's in the shooting lines," Silas said. "He's doing the drills with them and getting up and down the court. It's exciting to watch him. He still has it. He can shoot that thing still. He's not as athletic as he once was but who is? He talks to them and he's been a huge help because the guys respect him and they respond to what he is saying."

At least one former Michael Jordan teammate has told ESPN's Marc Stein that he's convinced that Jordan wants to make an NBA comeback at 50 years old.

If that's true, His Airness has two years to find a buyer for the Charlotte Bobcats so he's eligible to play again.

Jordan practiced Thursday with the Bobcats -- one week before his 48th birthday -- and looked quite good according to co-captain Stephen Jackson.

"We should sign him," Jackson told ESPN's Marc Stein, adding that Jordan dunked "without any effort" and citing a sweet lefty finish on a post-up move as MJ's most memorable contribution to the workout.

Don't forget, though, that league rules preclude NBA owners from playing for their own teams without selling off their shares. Don't forget, furthermore, that Jordan (with the Wizards in 2001) and Magic Johnson (with the Lakers in 1996 and with yours truly as a first-year Lakers beat writer) were mere minority owners when they made their comebacks from the executive suite, making it a lot easier to find someone to buy them out.

You figure it would take Jordan at least two years to find someone willing to assume majority control of the Bobcats, given how long it took His Airness to assemble a deal to take over from founding owner Bob Johnson.

Word & Stats by ESPN Chicago, Henry Abbott, and Marc Stein.


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