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Jordan Leaning Towards Retirement


Michael Jordan says he's leaning toward not returning for another season now that Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson is gone.

"I don't want to start over. I'm pretty sure losing Phil is a sign of that," Jordan said Saturday at a news conference before teeing off at the Michael Jordan Celebrity golf classic. "So I can tell you where my mind is leaning in some respects. ... I don't want a rebuilding process."

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Jordan once said he would play only for Jackson, although he recently retreated from that position. Earlier this week, he indicated a decision to return to the Bulls also depends on Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman coming back.

Jordan said Saturday while he might be leaning one way, he wants to weigh his options and hasn't reached a final decision.

"My decision is coming very quickly. And I know this time I want to evaluate all options, and I don't want to make a rush judgment," he said. "Yes, I've said all along that if Phil is not my coach there's no way I can play. And I'm pretty firm with that.

"But before I make that decision ... I've got to see what the team is going to do in terms of their choices. But I've felt strongly, I still feel strongly about it, but I just don't want to make a rush judgment or career-ending decision."

He said he hasn't discussed his future with the Bulls management since the team won its sixth NBA title.

"Once we won the championship, I kind of broke all ties to mentally relax and get away from the tension and all the pressures we have dealt with all season long," Jordan said. "And I've heard, and I've talked to some of the people who told me about Phil and his decision, which is honestly his decision and I can respect that."

Jordan said if he leaves basketball, other challenges will remain - such as parenthood.

"I know that in some point in time my career is going to be over and I can devote 100 percent of my time towards them," Jordan said of hs family. "My kids are at the age now they need the attention of their father, and the guidance of their father. My wife for so long has carried both mantles, and she's done a good job, and now there's a time for me to take over my own."

He said he looks forward to helping his children with their homework and taking them to camp.

"My daughter has a dance recital Sunday and I've got to leave here early so I can make that," he said, "so there's things like that I look forward to.

"People say I won't have a challenge if I'm out of the game? I disagree with them. Being a parent in some respects is a challenge."

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