Basketball star to give 2001-02 season salary to charities
NEW YORK — It’s official: Michael Jordan is lacing up for the Washington Wizards to return to the NBA — and NBC, TNT and TBS have already begun rewriting their schedules to add as many Wizards games to their lineups as the league will accommodate.
“We’ll be working with the league over the next week to 10 days on a revamped schedule,” said Mark Lazarus, head of Turner Sports, which had included only one Wizards game — a Nov. 28 contest against the Philadelphia 76ers — on its preliminary blueprint issued two months ago.
One game almost certain to be added to the schedule: the Oct. 30 opener at Madison Square Garden between the Wizards and the New York Knicks.
NBC had no Wizards’ games listed on its TV schedule, a circumstance that’s certain to change. In a statement, Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports, said that “scheduling changes will be considered and discussed” with the NBA.
Jordan, 38, retired in 1998 after winning his sixth world championship with the Chicago Bulls. He subsequently became a minority owner of the Wizards, as well as president of the team’s basketball operations; he’ll have to forgo both jobs to become an active player.
Mindful of his position as role model, Jordan said he will give his entire $1.3 million salary for the 2001-02 season to charities set up to provide relief to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.