For the past three years, it has been my job to cover not only the Washington Wizards, but also Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players ever and definitely one of the most famous people in the world.
My coverage of Jordan started shortly before he joined the Wizards as part-owner and president of basketball operations in 2000. I was one of the first to write about his arrival, which was major news not only in the Washington area but also around the world.
Once Jordan started working for the Wizards, we built a working relationship that has helped me tell readers about what is going on with him and the Wizards. I have come to understand how he thinks about the game and how much he expects from everyone around him. His mind is always working on how to get the most from his teammates, other people who work for the Wizards, and himself.
He is a fair person and professional with reporters. At times, he is quite funny. There is nothing he likes more than talking about basketball.
Well, yes, there is -- playing basketball.
And when Jordan said that he wouldn't just be part-owner of the Wizards but was going to play too, my job got really interesting. Reporters and fans from around the world followed his every move. It was, in a way, unfair to his teammates, who worked just as hard in practice and to win games as Jordan.
However, Jordan was all people wanted to talk about. It was my job to report about him and the team every day.
At the beginning of this season, things quieted down a little. There were fewer reporters, and that made it somewhat easier for me to talk to Jordan.
On Thanksgiving Day, just 2 1/2 months from his 40th birthday, he said he definitely wouldn't play next season. The attention has returned to Jordan since his career is coming to an end, he is playing very well and the Wizards are making a serious playoff run.
I'll be as busy as ever writing about Jordan's final days as a Wizards player, but that's my job -- and I'd rather be doing this than just about anything.
-- Steve Wyche