- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003


Seen and heard yesterday at Madison Square Garden in New York:
SENDING THE MESSAGE EARLY Following the game, Michael Jordan pulled no punches when talking about the future of the team. He has said all season long that by playing with these guys he's been able to determine up close and personal who fits in and who doesn't.
Jordan talked about this after he asked someone if they were "nuts" for suggesting that he might return next season as a player.
"It's given me an understanding that some of these guys might not be here next year once I go upstairs," Jordan said. "But there is no motivation for me to come back."
Jordan will return to the team's front office as an executive next season.
WHAT HOMECOURT? That's the question that some of the Knicks were asking after the game. With the Wizards having cut the Knicks' lead to 96-93, Michael Jordan stepped to the free throw line and knocked down a pair of free throws to which the Madison Square Garden cheered in unison.
This struck New York's Allan Houston as puzzling.
"It was really bizarre," Houston said. "Going through this whole game was really strange. It was a strange feeling in that you're fighting so hard for the playoffs and it's almost like you're still playing on the road. It was weird. It was almost like playing a preseason game in a neutral place where they didn't really know who they wanted to cheer for.
"But you know what? He's Michael and I think they just appreciate what he's done. Even though we did have the white uniforms tonight, it was different. It was stranger. But the bottom line is Tuesday all this'll be gone and we'll be back at the Garden and they'll be cheering for us again."
When New York's Shandon Anderson stepped to the line in the final five seconds and made one of two free throws, many in the crowd cheered his miss and booed the one that he made.
"Those fans can go to hell," Anderson said.
John N. Mitchell

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