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Jordan felt 'used' by Wizards, surprised by firing

10/22/2005 - Washington Wizards

NEW YORK -- Michael Jordan felt "used" by the Washington
Wizards and was surprised by his firing, he told CBS' "60
Minutes'' in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the
1990s, was the Wizards' president from January 2000 to September
2001 before coming out of retirement for the second time to play
for the Wizards through the 2003 season.

"I didn't have to [start playing again],'' Jordan said in the
interview. "But I did it with the benefit of trying to help an
organization to get back on their feet. And the gratitude that was
given? It was 'your service is no longer wanted or needed.' So I
felt like I was used in a sense.''

He was fired by Washington owner Abe Pollin after a 110-179
record in 3½years as the top decision-maker, a role Jordan kept
even after returning as a player.

Jordan said he didn't see the firing coming.

"No. If that was the case, I obviously wouldn't have gone back
to play,'' he said. "I felt like I played injured, I went through
[knee] surgery and I did the things that a lot of these young kids
did not do.''

Wizards spokesman Matt Williams said the team had no comment.