Jordan Not Ruling Out A Return

Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
AP

Michael Jordan says he is not ruling out returning to the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"What's most important right now is for me to see where the league is going, then look deep inside myself to make a clear-cut decision. So for now I'm keeping my options open," Jordan said in an interview published in the Tribune's Thursday editions and on the newspaper's Internet site.

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Jordan said his final decision must await the conclusion of the NBA lockout that has canceled the preseason schedule and threatens at least part of the regular season.

Jordan, 35, said he is "completely healthy, and the love I have for basketball, for the challenge of it, is still there for me."

His comments are in contrast to what the Bulls star said in July when Jordan told a news conference he was retired, but wouldn't make it official until the lockout ended.

Jordan also said he isn't opposed to playing for Tim Floyd or for an organization still run by general manager Jerry Krause.

"I played with Jerry there the last five or six seasons, and we've been successful," Jordan said. "I don't like it. But that's not going to be my final deciding factor."

Jordan had indicated last season he wouldn't play for any coach but Phil Jackson, who led the Bulls to six NBA titles in the last eight years. Jackson left this summer and the Bulls hired Floyd as coach-in-waiting.

Jordan said he thinks Jackson might return to coach him. But he acknowledged that the odds of Jackson coaching the Bulls this season are "probably a million to one."

Jordan had nothing critical to say about Floyd, the former Iowa State coach he and Jackson referred to last season as "Pink" Floyd.

"I don't fault him. I fault Jerry Krause for driving Jackson away," Jordan said.

Floyd said Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf recently told him he still plans to do his best to sign Jordan again.

Jordan acknowledged it wold be a challenge to win a title with a new coach.

"For me, if there's no challenge, I don't want to play," he said. "But the Catch-22 for me is that I don't want people saying I came back when I shouldn't have or I stayed too long."

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