Jordan declines the offer

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 2:15 a.m.
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Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan (23) looks for an opening over Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady during the first quarter of their game at the MCI Center in Washington, Jan. 16. McGrady said Wednesday he wants to honor the retiring Jordan by handing over his role as a starter in the upcoming NBA All-Star Game. The 39-year-old Jordan was named as a reserve to the game, and this will be his 13th appearance in the exhibition.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
MILWAUKEE - Michael Jordan said thanks, but no thanks.
Jordan turned down offers from Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson to relinquish their starting spots in the All-Star Game.
McGrady, the Orlando guard who led the Eastern Conference in fan balloting, made his offer Thursday. Iverson made a similar offer in a private phone call a week and a half ago, Jordan revealed before Thursday night's game between the Bucks and Washington Wizards.
"It shows what type of people they are, about the history of the game, about guys who have paved the way," Jordan said. "I would have done it for Dr. J. and I'm sure Dr. J. would have done it for someone else.
"That, to me, just shows how much they care about the game. I take it as a compliment, but I would rather for them to play and start and let me come off the bench."
Jordan said Iverson called him after the starting lineups were announced earlier this month.
"He said, 'If you don't mind, I'd like to step aside and let you start,"' Jordan recounted. "No one knew about it. He called me personally and I didn't make it known."
But Jordan said he's not bothered by not starting. In his previous 13 All-Star selections, the fans voted him in.
"I have no ill feelings," Jordan said. "I am very happy for them. If I hadn't done it for 14 years, OK, it's a different scenario. I experienced it for many years and I think it's something they should feel proud about."

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