Wizards' Jordan sits because of sore foot

He misses scrimmage

Haywood out 2 weeks

Brown also banged up

Pro Basketball

October 17, 2001|By Don Markus | By Don Markus,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - Michael Jordan's eye-popping performance in Saturday's exhibition victory at Miami did more than raise the hopes of the Washington Wizards and their fans. It also might have resulted in Jordan's first injury with his new team.

Jordan sat out last night's intrasquad scrimmage at MCI Center with a strained left foot.

Though he apologized to the crowd made up almost exclusively of police officers, firefighters and rescue workers involving in helping victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, Jordan declined to comment after the scrimmage.

"Unfortunately I can't play tonight," he told the crowd. "I injured my foot on Saturday. It hasn't gotten any better and I don't want to risk it tonight even though I would love to play under the circumstances."

New Wizards coach Doug Collins said, "I don't know if I have ever seen Michael as disappointed as he was tonight. He really wanted to play. He's sort of trying to fight through the aches and pains to get ready for the season."

Collins characterized Jordan's injury as "sore, but not serious," but added that the 38-year-old superstar would likely not have played had the team had a regular game last night. The Wizards play their next exhibition tomorrow in Grand Rapids, Mich. against the Detroit Pistons.

Jordan was not the only Wizards player to miss last night's scrimmage. Kwame Brown, the team and league's top draft choice, sprained his right ankle against the Heat but is expected to play against the Pistons. Brendan Haywood, the team's other rookie center, suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb in Miami and will miss a minimum of two weeks.

"We're banged up right now," said Collins.

Jordan scored 18 points in the first quarter of a 99-79 win over the Heat, erasing some of the doubts that surfaced when he scored just eight and looked a tad rusty in the team's first preseason game last week against the Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich. Collins recalled something Jordan said to him before the Miami game.

"He heard whispers coming out of the Detroit game about how he was too old and he can't do it anymore," said Collins. "He kind of whispered in my ear before the Miami game, `Let's see how old I look tonight.' "

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