Jordan: Return to NBA Still Uncertain
Posted Aug 21 2001 12:00AM
Wizards president vows, "I'm not going to be pushed into this."
CHICAGO, Aug. 21 (AP) -- Michael Jordan is prepared to forgo a return to the NBA if his comeback preparations don't progress as quickly as he'd like.
"I don't want to make a fool of myself," Jordan was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times. "If I don't think it can be done, I'll have no problem saying it. I'm not going to be pushed into this."
Jordan's comments came after the first day of his invitation-only basketball camp. However, the former Chicago Bulls star still has not ruled out a return to the court.
"I can honestly say I haven't decided anything," Jordan said.
Jordan, president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards, has been struggling with tendinitis in his knee. He cracked two ribs during a June workout and has fought back spasms recently.
Tim Grover, Jordan's personal trainer the past 12 years, has said he thinks missing a month of conditioning because of the rib injury makes it unlikely his 38-year-old client will be fit enough to make a comeback.
"I have no problem with what Tim said," Jordan said. "That's what he believes. It's his opinion, and I respect it.
"I'm still confident. I'm gauging my strength, my legs, my conditioning, the things I'll need to determine if I can play at the level I want to be at. Right now, I'm not there. I'm going to keep trying to get there. We'll see."
NBA players Jerry Stackhouse, Juwan Howard and Ron Artest were on hand for Jordan's comeback camp.
Tim Hardaway and Penny Hardaway were expected to arrive later this week, and Jordan said he hoped Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson would show up.
Jordan invited many of the league's top players -- including Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Vince Carter -- but they were not expected to attend.