Basketball: Jordan ready to enjoy family life

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The Independent Online
THE FAT lady sang yesterday, and the sport of basketball will never be the same again as Michael Jordan confirmed his retirement.

"I played it to the best I could play it," Jordan told a packed news conference at the United Center, the Chicago Bulls' home court. "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."

He appeared with a bandage on his right index finger and said he said he severed a tendon while trying to cut a cigar and would need surgery. Word of Jordan's retirement broke late on Monday night, but he had refused to comment until yesterday. After leading the Bulls to their sixth championship in June, Jordan had said he would make an announcement on his future only once the National Basketball Association lock-out ended.

"I thought about saying just two words, `I'm gone', but I thought I owed my fans a lot more than that," he said, with his wife, Juanita, at his side. "My life will take a change." He added he looked forward to being a parent and would "live vicariously through my kids," whether or not they played basketball. Jordan, asked if he would definitely never return, said: "I never say never." But he added: "I'm very secure in my decision."

Manchester Giants have re-signed Kevin St Kitts in time to play in the Budweiser League top-of-the-table clash against Sheffield Sharks on Saturday. He replaces Danny Craven, who will miss the rest of the season because of injury.