It's Official: Jordan Announces Return
September 25, 2001
Washington, DC - Michael Jordan announced today that he intends to resume his career as a professional basketball player.
"Although I am energized by my impending return to the court, I am deeply saddened by the recent tragic events and my heart goes out to the victims and their families," said Jordan. "Out of deep respect for them, I will not participate in media interviews before the start of training camp on October 1."
Jordan plans to make his return to professional basketball by signing a two-year contract with the Washington Wizards. In compliance with NBA rules, he plans to divest his ownership position with Lincoln Holdings, which includes his ownership position in the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals and the MCI Center. Jordan will also resign as the team's President of Basketball Operations, a position he had held since January 2000.
"I am returning as a player to the game I love because during the last year and a half, as a member of Washington Wizards' management, I enjoyed working with our players, and sharing my own experiences as a player. I feel there is no better way of teaching young players than to be on the court with them as a fellow player, not just in practice, but in actual NBA games," said Jordan. "While nothing can take away from the past, I am firmly focused on the future and the competitive challenge ahead of me."
"I am especially excited about the Washington Wizards, and I'm convinced we have the foundation on which to build a playoff-contention team. The opportunity to teach our young players and help them elevate their game to a higher level, and to thank the fans in Washington for their loyalty and support, strongly influenced my decision."
"This is certainly an extremely important moment in the history of our franchise, however our excitement is muted by the world events that surround us," said Washington Sports and Entertainment Chairman Abe Pollin. "The greatest player in the history of the game is joining my team, and for that I am extremely honored and pleased. Michael has expressed his wishes that we focus on the national events of today rather than basketball. I concur and will certainly honor his wishes."
"This is a great day for fans of basketball in Washington DC, throughout the country and around the world," commented Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Lincoln Holdings. "We were honored to have Michael Jordan as our business partner in Lincoln Holdings, and are very excited to now see him back on the court playing for our Washington Wizards. He is an astute and successful business executive --and his love of the game has led him back to this latest chapter in his storied playing career. And, I now can't wait until the new season starts!"
As a tribute to and in memory of the victims, their families and relief workers affected by the September 11th tragedy, Jordan will donate his entire salary for this season to relief and victim assistance efforts.