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Jordan Confirms Ownership Talks

Michael Jordan confirmed today he has had preliminary discussions about co-owning the Charlotte Hornets.

Less than three months removed from his second retirement as a player, Jordan is considering a move to the other side of the business.

"In response to reports, I can confirm that I have been contacted by George Shinn and (NBA commissioner) David Stern regarding co-ownership of the Charlotte Hornets," Jordan said in a release today issued through agent David Falk's office in Washington.

Hornets officials and those with the NBA have said Jordan spoke with Shinn earlier this month about buying a 50 percent share of the NBA franchise.

"At this stage however, 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 said.

Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington and attended 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."

Jordan also has also met with John Fennebresque, who is in charge of developing a new arena for the Hornets, the Charlotte Observer said.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, which cited unidentified sources in an article Sunday, Jordan and agent David Falk were in the Bahamas, discussing the move from retired player to part-time owner.

"If this is something Michael wants to do, I'm all for it because he's earned the right to do whatever he wants to do," Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told the newspaper.

"I also believe he would make a good owner. He is good at everything he does. Michael is very bright and has very good insight into things that he focuses on. So, I'm sure he would be a plus."

Reinsdorf said several years ago he had briefly talked to Jordan about buying into the Bulls.

"That wasn't an offer," Reinsdorf said. "I asked him if he'd like to be. He said no. He said he didn't think he would enjoy being an owner because he thought he would not be tolerant of the players. And that was it. It was a 30-second conversation."

Reinsdorf, speaking to the Chicago Tribune from spring training in Arizona, speculated that Jordan would want to hire Phil Jackson as his coach. He said he would like to see Falk named general manager because "then he (Jordan) will save all the rest of the teams a lot of money."

Hornets officials said that no firm dates had been set for the two sides to meet again but that both parties had agreed to stay in touch.

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