- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2001

Michael Jordan, who called off a news conference originally scheduled yesterday to announce whether or not he would end his three-year retirement, could make his intentions public as early as this weekend and definitely by next week, said a source with knowledge of the situation.

All indications are that the Washington Wizards' 38-year-old president of basketball operations, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in 13 seasons, will play for the Wizards, a playoff team just once in the last 14 seasons.

On Sept. 10, Jordan gave the strongest indication that he wanted to return when he told a group of reporters that he wanted to play for at least "two more" years.

Meanwhile, the Wizards yesterday signed second-year small forward Michael Smith, whom Jordan selected last season with the 35th pick in the draft, to a one-year contract. It is believed Smith will earn about $460,000.

"He spent a lot of his rookie season learning the pro game," Jordan said in a statement. "He has the potential to develop his game using his slashing and shooting abilities."

Last season Smith appeared in 17 games and averaged 3.0 points and 1.3 rebounds a game. His signing brings the number of players on the roster to 15. The Wizards are allowed to take 20 players to training camp, which begins Oct. 2. When the season opens, the Wizards can have 12 players on the active roster and three on injured reserve.

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