Originally created 10/07/01

Jordan 'willed' team to win in scrimmage, then ices down knees



WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Michael Jordan's knees may be sore, but his will to win is apparently as strong as ever.

After sitting out some drills Saturday morning, Jordan went full-throttle in the evening practice, ending with a come-from-behind victory in a scrimmage at the Washington Wizards' training camp.

"Michael led his team to a great comeback in the second game," Wizards assistant coach Brian James said. "Michael willed his team to victory due to his decision-making and things like that."

After the evening session - which was closed to the media - Jordan wore icebags on both knees. He answered a handful of questions from the media, mainly about his role with evaluating team personnel while on the court.

"There's a difference obviously (from working in the front office)," Jordan said. "I try not to let the business happen when I'm on the basketball court. I'm just trying to make things work with what we have.

"I get a closer look when I'm down on the floor than upstairs. Down here, I can see a little bit more. I can understand a little bit more from a basketball standpoint. When there's a question upstairs, I can find the answer downstairs."

Jordan also spoke about reports that Dennis Rodman, a former teammate on the Chicago Bulls championship teams of 1996-98, is considering a comeback. Rodman said this week during a television interview that he had spoken with Jordan about a comeback attempt with the Wizards.

"That would be a tough fit because of the minutes we have to find for the young guys," Jordan said. "Dennis is the kind of guy who needs to play lot of minutes just to do his job, so I don't anticipate that happening right now."

James said the coaching staff plans to have Jordan practice once a day during the remainder of the two-a-day workouts at Trask Coliseum on the UNC-Wilmington campus. Head coach Doug Collins left immediately after the practice and was unavailable for comment.

Jordan and his teammates will get some rest Sunday. The coaching staff called off Sunday's morning workout after an evening workout that was sloppier than previous practices, James said.

Still, Jordan continued to get solid reviews from teammates.

"He looked great," said Wizards forward Christian Laettner, who added that Jordan looked a little tired but played "like gangbusters" in the evening practice.

"At his age, he can't be going through two-a-days (workouts) with us," Laettner said. "He's got to let the legs rest a little bit. In three months when we've been through it all, he'll be able to go as hard as anyone everyday. But right now, he hasn't played in three years. My knees are killing me, so I know his knees are killing him."