Reverse dunk for Jordan: He will play today

Wizard reconsiders sitting out 2 exhibitions

Pro Basketball

October 11, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

The comeback of Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards hit its first glitch yesterday.

After new coach Doug Collins announced yesterday that the 38-year-old legend would not play in the team's first two exhibition games, Jordan changed his mind and said a few hours later that he would play tonight against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich., as well as Saturday in Miami.

"After making my first announcement earlier today, I realized that many fans purchased tickets for these games to see me in my return," Jordan said in a statement released by the Wizards. "I don't want the fans to be disappointed; therefore, I will alter my original plans and play in Detroit and Miami."

Collins said after the team broke training camp in Wilmington, N.C., that Jordan hadn't suffered a flareup of tendinitis in his knees that bothered him over the summer but that he was still a bit behind schedule in conditioning because of time he missed after breaking ribs in June.

Jordan played 18 minutes in the team's public intrasquad scrimmage Tuesday night in Wilmington, Del., scoring 13 points.

He has pushed himself very hard during training camp but admitted yesterday, "As much as my mind wants to say I'm 28, I know I'm 38."

Before changing his mind, Jordan had justified his absence by saying, "Doug is really trying to get a feel for the other guys. He knows what I'm capable of doing.

"As long as I keep practicing with the guys, as long as we don't lose our rhythm, it should work out. Physically, I'm still trying to get my wind back and my legs beneath me."

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