Source: Jordan, Heat discussing ownership role

Pro Basketball

July 12, 2004|By Sam Smith | Sam Smith,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

It looks as if Shaquille O'Neal is headed to the Miami Heat.

Is Michael Jordan next?

Jordan, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, has been in discussions with Heat ownership about joining the organization as an owner. Although there was no other confirmation, it makes sense for both Jordan and NBA commissioner David Stern.

Stern has been trying to get Jordan back into the NBA in an ownership position since Jordan's attempt to buy the Milwaukee Bucks failed last year.

Jordan has made it clear, after his ugly ending with the Washington Wizards, that he never again would put himself in a position to be fired or managed by an organization.

Stern has openly listed one of his main priorities as getting Jordan back into the NBA in some active capacity.

Meanwhile, O'Neal's agent, Perry Rogers, said yesterday that a blockbuster deal between the Heat and Los Angeles Lakers is imminent and could be official Wednesday when the NBA's two-week player movement moratorium expires.

"We're confident that Shaquille will be moving to Miami soon," Rogers told the Associated Press in a phone interview.

So with O'Neal apparently headed to the Heat in a trade for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a draft pick, Miami might be the perfect location for Jordan.

The team would have a good chance to win a title and Jordan would be in position to use what many say could be his greatest strength as an owner: attracting top talent to join him.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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