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Agent: Jordan Will Not Return

Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk, said today there is "absolutely no truth" to a report the five-time MVP is considering coming out of retirement to play for the Charlotte Hornets.

Jordan has had preliminary discussions with NBA commissioner David Stern and Hornets owner George Shinn about buying 50 percent of the team.

Fox Sports, citing unidentified sources close to Jordan, reported Tuesday night that one scenario being considered by Jordan would have him playing one full season for the Hornets while his ownership shares were held in a trust or deferred.

One of the sources apparently heard Jordan say he has to "stay in shape."

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"There's absolutely no truth to it," Falk said in a statement from his Washington office.

Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman had no comment.

Earlier this year, Jordan pronounced himself "99.9 percent" retired. Since then, he has said he hasn't picked up a basketball since hitting the final shot of his career -- the game-winner in Utah at the end of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, his sixth title with the Bulls.

The scenario of him playing next season, according to Fox, also would include Phil Jackson being brought in to coach the team for one year and Dean Smith, Jordan's college coach at North Carolina, being brought aboard as team president.

Jordan issued a statement Monday confirming his interest in owning half the team.

"At this stage," Jordan said, "the discussions are very preliminary and I am unsure whether I will be able to make an investment on terms that are acceptable to me."

Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington and starred at North Carolina, said staying involved in the NBA would be a "fulfilling personal and business challenge."

"In addition, as a North Carolina native, I would welcome the opportunity to be involved in growing the Hornets into an elite NBA team," Jordan said. "It would be premature to comment any further."

The Hornets have said no dates were set for the two sides to meet again, but both parties agreed to stay in touch.

Jordan previously gave up basketball in October 1993 to pursue a career in professional baseball, then returned to the NBA in the spring of 1995.

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