Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and won five Most Valuable Player Awards and 10 scoring titles as a player, will become the head of basketball operations and possible part owner of the Washington Wizards.
Jordan will attend a news conference this afternoon at the MCI Center to explain his role in the organization and what changes he will make in a franchise that hasn't won a playoff series in more than two decades.
Today's announcement comes almost a year to the day after Jordan retired as a player, saying he was no longer "mentally" into playing. He has spent the past year golfing and working out, even once showing up and practicing with his former team.
He and Wizards owner Abe Pollin agreed several days ago that Jordan would take over as head of basketball operations. Jordan and his representatives then negotiated with minority owner Ted Leonsis over what his stake in the team would be. Leonsis has an option to purchase the Wizards when Pollin decides to sell. If Leonsis becomes majority owner, Jordan will have an option to join him as a partner.
Jordan is expected to attend tonight's game between the Wizards and Dallas Mavericks.
When word of his interest in the Wizards was reported last week, NBA officials said they welcomed him into the fold as a team executive.
"We've made it clear that we think it'd be a terrific thing to have Michael Jordan involved in the NBA in whatever capacity he wants to be involved in. That's no secret," deputy commissioner Russ Granik has said. "That would be wherever and whatever he was interested in doing."
Even though Jordan has no experience in running a team, some of the people who know him and have competed against him say he will be outstanding. They point to Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Jerry West, who become one of the game's top executives after also being one of the greatest players of all time.
"I think he'd be great in the job, I really do," Indiana Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh said. "He knows the players, he knows what it takes to win. In dealing with his own franchise, he'll know why they are winning or not winning and what he needs to win."