Thursday, April 10, 2003

Jordan may consider Bulls job

By Joseph White
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Michael Jordan did not rule out a front-office job with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, calling it a "second thought" if he can't work out a deal with the Washington Wizards.

Jordan, retiring as a player at the end of the season, reiterated that his first choice is to return as Wizards president of basketball operations, the post he held from January 2000 until his second comeback began in fall 2001.

"Obviously my focus here is to go back upstairs," he said after an 87-83 loss to the Boston Celtics. "And hopefully it works out that way, but if it doesn't, then obviously I have options. Not just Chicago, I have other options as well."

Jordan and Wizards owner Abe Pollin will discuss Jordan's future after the season, and the talks will include how much authority Jordan will have over the way the franchise is run.

The resignation of Bulls general manager Jerry Krause earlier this week will strengthen Jordan's hand in the negotiations. If he doesn't stay in Washington, he could return to the city where he lives and won six NBA titles, or he could be a candidate to join the new expansion franchise in Charlotte.

"For me, ideally, is to keep this thing rolling, keep this team moving in the right direction," Jordan said.

Wednesday's loss all but closed the door on Jordan's playoff hopes. The Celtics clinched a playoff berth with their victory, while the Wizards fell 2 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-92. One more Milwaukee win or one more Washington loss will eliminate the Wizards.

"I got a little tired tonight," said Jordan, who scored 21 points in 43 minutes. "But I'm doing everything I can."

Even his rivals would be sad to see him finish his career out of the postseason.

"I would love to see him in the playoffs because I think he could've did some damage," Boston forward Antoine Walker said. "It's going to be tough to see him go."

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