MJ Impressive on Second Day of Camp
Posted Oct 3 2001 12:00AM
"He was amazing, he really was," Collins says
WILMINGTON, N.C., Oct. 3 (AP) -- Michael Jordan hasn't lost his jump shot. He can still accelerate and finish along the baseline. He remembers how to rattle an opponent.
Jordan's team lost 85-81, but he didn't seem to mind.
His coach, Doug Collins, was borderline ecstatic.
"I thought he was much better tonight than he was yesterday," Wizards coach Doug Collins said. "You saw those plays. Those are the things he's getting back, and that's when you know a guy is getting his legs.
"I wish you guys could have seen him play the whole night. He was amazing, he really was," Collins said. "Michael had that bounce in his step. He really played well."
On one play, Jordan drove hard along the baseline, went under the basket and flipped in a gorgeous reverse layup. On another, he curled around a screen, elevated like the Jordan of old and drilled a 20-footer from the side.
"It's coming along. It's training camp. I'm off to a nice little start, but I'm not where I need to be. I've got 30 days to get to where I can showcase," Jordan said.
Actually, Jordan's regular-season opener is only 26 days away.
Jordan showed flashes of his competitive side as the scrimmage wound down. With the score 82-79 and Courtney Alexander shooting two free throws for the other team, Jordan stood behind him at the foul line and shouted something just as Alexander was ready to release the ball. Alexander missed.
Jordan came right back and did it again, yelling "box out" as Alexander raised the ball to shoot. The second one rattled in.
On defense, Jordan fought through a pick and stayed with Richard Hamilton as Hamilton drove across the lane. Jordan hacked him on the arm, then stood with his hands on his hips shaking his head ever so slightly after an official called a foul.
Yep, he's working the refs, too.
For a second straight night, Jordan stood behind a protective barrier of folding chairs and addressed a crowd of media that thinned considerably from the previous night's horde.
He said he meant no disrespect to Vince Carter or Allen Iverson by neglecting to mention them in his comeback news conference in Washington on Monday. He brought up the names of Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady two times apiece Monday, but didn't mention any other current NBA stars by name.