What they're saying

January 13, 1999

What people are saying about Michael Jordan, who is expected to announce his retirement today:

"It's sad for everyone to see the greatest basketball player in the world come to that conclusion. There comes a time in every player's career that they have to make that decision." -- Indiana Pacers coach Larry Bird.

"We look forward to seeing him sometime in late March when he makes his return again in Market Square Arena." -- Bird joking about Jordan's possible return.

"What more can he accomplish? He's won six championships, a bunch of MVPs, two Olympic titles. He's at the very top." -- Atlanta Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens.

"It's wise, it's impactful. You can never top yourself. When it becomes the old you against the young you, the old you always loses." -- Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Fame running back, who also retired at the top of his game.

"I don't think anyone's ready to take the baton. Michael is the Babe Ruth and that's the truth. If we're waiting for one guy, we're going to be waiting for a long, long time." -- Turner Sports analyst and former player Doc Rivers.

"Where basketball is now, Michael Jordan is desperately needed. Fans have been lost, and he could help bring them back." -- Lakers guard Eddie Jones.

"He has had the most influence of any living athlete in the history of any sport when it comes to the toy department of human affairs." -- Miami Heat coach Pat Riley.

"I'll tell my grandchildren I got to play against him. I'm going to miss seeing his aerial, acrobatic moves." -- Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal.

"Miss him? No. Give somebody else a chance to win." -- Heat guard Dan Majerle

"Like you remember where you were when Elvis died. That's what you'll remember, where you were if he retired. He's Jesus in tennis shoes." -- New Jersey Nets forward Jayson Williams.

Pub Date: 1/13/99

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