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  • Online only: Quotes from Michael Jordan's press conference

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  •   Who's Saying What About Jordan

    Associated Press
    Wednesday, January 13, 1999; 3:31 p.m. EST

    "When I lay my head down on the pillow at night, I'll know there was one guy I never had a chance to beat. It doesn't look like I'll get another chance. That bothers me."

    Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley

    "I think it's appropriate that the sports fans around America take a day or two to ooh and ahh, and hold their breath again, and be glad again."

    President Clinton

    "He is the most famous and best-loved sportsman on the planet. The best-paid as well. An entire generation identified with him."

    Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve

    "Mentally, I'm exhausted. I don't feel I have a challenge. Physically, I feel great. This is a perfect time for me to walk away from the game. I'm at peace with that."

    Michael Jordan

    "He never looked like he'd been sentenced by a judge to play basketball. I've seen too many athletes not go out at the right time. They stay and struggle and lose some of the dignity they are entitled to."

    former Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach

    "I tried to be the best basketball player I could be. I've had a great time. I'm just going to enjoy life and do things I've never done before.


    "We have all been fortunate to have been a part of one of the most magical rides in sports history. Now, with the NBA and the other television partners, we have to reintroduce the new generation of stars in the NBA."

    NBC sports chairman Dick Ebersol

    "This is a day that I hoped would never come. It has to be the toughest day in the history of the Chicago Bulls. It's a tough day for Chicago, it's a tough day for the NBA, it's a tough day for basketball fans all over the world and for Michael Jordan fans all over the world."

    Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf

    "Thank you for gracing our court for 13 seasons, and I disagree with Jerry [Reinsdorf]. This is not a sad day. This is a great day, because the greatest basketball player in the history of the game is getting the opportunity to retire with the grace that described his play."

    NBA Commissioner David Stern

    "Flying Man Jordan is Coming Back to Earth,"

    front-page headline, Beijing Morning Post

    "There are very few names that even come close to being associated with Michael Jordan in the sports world: Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. And as great as those two names were, Michael Jordan competed in a world that was much more wired."

    Phil Knight, founder and CEO of Nike Inc.

    "I thought of saying just two words: `I'm gone.' But I figured I owe the fans and certainly the media a little bit more than that. So that's one of my reasons for being here."


    © Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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