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The World Bids Farewell to Michael

In any language, MJ is the greatest basketball player in history.

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It would be difficult to find one person on this planet who has never heard the name Michael Jordan. No other sports figure today evokes the same global notoriety. He is to basketball what Muhammad Ali was to boxing or what Pele was to soccer.

Jordan has left an indelible mark on the sporting world. With NBA programming in 195 countries in 41 different languages, the basketball phenom captivated and dazzled audiences around the world with his spectacular moves on the court and his graciousness off the court.

Now, fans worldwide are bracing themselves for a Jordan-less NBA era. After 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association, Jordan, the world's most notable sports figure, has decided to retire from basketball after winning six NBA championships in eight years with the Chicago Bulls.

Often synonymous with greatness, Jordan is leaving the basketball world with lasting memories and spectacular highlights from a stellar career. Jordan won the first of five MVP awards in 1988, the one season he also was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He was named to the All-NBA First Team 10 times and NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times. He also was the NBA Finals MVP during all six Bulls championship seasons, holds a dozen NBA Finals offensive records and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players.

For a phenomenal sports figure, there is no other way to leave than at the top of his game. And Jordan has done just that. He also is leaving us with one of the greatest moments in sports ingrained in our memories. With his team trailing by three points in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, no one will ever forget how Jordan scored on a drive, made a crucial steal and then buried a 20-footer with 5.2 seconds left to defeat the Utah Jazz 87-86 to win his last NBA title.

As fans embrace Jordan for his remarkable basketball talents and prepare for his retirement, media around the world are paying tribute to one of the foremost athletes of all-time. Here is a sample of media reaction around the world:


Belgium's De Morgen:
God wore number 23? "I was just a guy who knew how to play basketball."

France's Le Parisien:
The End of the Jordan Era

Germany's Faz:
Michael Jordan's retirement hits America and the NBA: The "Michelangelo" of sport shoes will not return. Fans cry, the radio plays Tchiakovsky.

Germany's Berliner Zeitung:
Air Jordan stops to fly and plays golf

Holland's Telegraaf:
Jordan's Goodbye: His royal Airness will never fly again

Israel's Yedioth Ahrnonoth:
God is going home

Italy's La Gazzetto dello Sport:
Ciao Jordan, you will always be Air-Basketball
Jordan is retired now - begins the legend

Italy's La Repubblica:
Air will not fly anymore, basketball is alone

Spain's Sport:
The King is Leaving

Spain's El Mundo Deportivo:

Spain's Marca:
Jordan don't go

Spain's El Periodico:
A myth that has gone beyond sports: Jordan will announce his goodbye today

Spain's La Razon:
Michael flies

Spain's El Pais:
A myth and an industry, Michael, tell us it is not true

Switzerland's La Tribune de Genve:
Jordan hangs up his shoes


Lead sports story on all networks.
Network Ten's Sports Tonight show featured it as the lead story and spent almost five minutes of their half-hour show on Jordan and his career.

Lead sports story on all radio networks.
3AW (Melbourne) had an interview with Andrew Gaze to get a player's reaction to the news. Gaze said he was sorry to see Jordan go as he enjoyed watching him play.
Fox-FM news compared Jordan to Pele and Ali.

Colour front and back page stories in all major dailies.

Herald Sun
He's gone: No more air...Jordan to call it quits
Nation weeps at Jordan showstopper
Yep, he's the greatest

The Age
Michael Jordan calling it a career
His Airness, King Mike Abdicates

The Australian
Jordan announces time out

Grantley Bernard of the Herald-Sun:
"There has been American icons such as Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. There has been Sir Donald Bradman for Australia and the rest of the Commonwealth. There has been Carl Lewis among the Olympians. Certainly Jordan is there with them. But he has done plenty to suggest he might be a fraction ahead of them, albeit from the viewpoint with basketball bias.....Nobody ever played the game the way he did. Nobody played it better than he did."


Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun:
Jordan will announce his retirement tomorrow: Presented an image of new hero - with the help of his sponsor

Tomoo Ohta of Yomiuri Shimbun:
"Nike helped MJ to become the star of American sports, like Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali."

Japan's Asahi Shimbun:
God will never fly again - NBA in a severe quake
Seriously, Jordan to retire

Japan's Nikkan Sports:
Jordan - the god of the NBA and the top of professional player - will retire

Japan's Sports Nippon:
Jordan will finally retire: there will be the voices of god.

Japan's Tochu Sports:
Jordan (God) finally to retire

Hong Kong:
- cover story of every sports post in Hong Kong
- radio stations: all three radio stations report on this news today
- TV stations: ATV - 1 minute report in evening news (Fox Sports Net footage)
TVB - 2 minute report in evening news (ABC footage)

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post:
Jordan poised to bring curtain down on his brilliant career (from New York Times)
It remains difficult.. to believe that Jordan is in fact calling it a career
What a swan, what a song (from New York Times)

Hong Kong's Apple Daily:
Jordan rumored to announce his retirement today: Reports from the American press say so.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily:
Jordan will announce his retirement today
Unforgettable episodes - life of Jordan

China's Beijing Morning Post:
Goodbye! Jordan: Flying Jordan wants to land
"Let's watch Jordan for one more moment. He is going to cover up his wings of dreams.... This is the end of an era. The great NBA has lost it greatest theme. Its name is engraved on the heart of everyone, not able to wipe away." "Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player in human history, is going to announce his retirement this Thursday."

Taiwan's: Min Sheng Daily:
Jordan announces retirement today. Don't fly anymore
Post-Jordan era is coming. NBA has to change its script. Team show is going to replace individual performance.
To rebuild the Bulls empire. A thorough change of blood.
Post-Jordan era is coming: The NBA empire has to deal with the question which it is reluctant to face finally. "When "Basketball King" MJ retires, what is the next step for the NBA? With the first retirement of Jordan in 1993, NBA suffered from all the painful experience without Jordan in two years time. In the future, the NBA will go from "Individual Show" to "Group Show" which is more practical and effective."


The Globe and Mail:
Jordan Prepares to Say Farewell

Toronto Star:
Hang Time

Calgary Herald:
Jordan calls it a career...again

Le Droit (Ottawa):
Jordan n'a plus rien a prouver (Jordan has nothing more to prove)

Ottawa Sun"
Air Splitting Again: Michael Jordan calls it quits

Halifax Chronicle Herald:
Air today, Gone Tomorrow

Latin America

Argentina's Ole:(full-color eight page supplement)
Ao Uno D. De J. (Year one after Jordan)
Jordan at 35 years of age today announces that he will retire from basketball

Argentina's Clarin: (world's largest Spanish-language newspaper)
This time definitely: Michael Jordan retires

Brazil's O Globo:
Jordan, the myth, says goodbye to the NBA

Brazil's O Dia:
Thank you Air Jordan

Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo: (Brazil's leading daily - front page)
Jordan leaves basketball today