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FOLLOW THE NUMBER; WILL MJ OBEY THE LEAGUE OR HIS NUMBER 23?
Published May 12, 1995
The NBA fined the Bulls $25,00 yesterday for failing to report Michael Jordan's jersey change before Game 2 against the Magic. The league also said Jordan's switch to 23 won't be approved this season and the team will face "more penalties if Jordan continues" to wear it, according to John Jackson of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Jordan also was fined $5,000 by the league for wearing white Nike Air Jordans, and not the black shoes worn by his teammates (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/12). The NBA "offered Jordan and the Bulls a less-than-stern rebuttal. Please don't embarrass us again" (Thomas Hill, N.Y. POST, 5/12). In New York, George Vecsey writes that Jordan "figured that once they hung his 23 from the crossbeams, he had the right to break it out whenever he wants." (N.Y. TIMES, 5/12). In Washington, Tom Boswell, who writes that the NBA is "suppossed to be savvy," and tells them to "wake up." Boswell: "Who could be mean enough to deny Michael Jordan the return of his own jersey number?" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/12). EVERYONE'S TALKIN' ABOUT IT: David Letterman, last night: "I'll give you an idea of how seriously I'm taking tonight's show: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm going back to my old number" ("Late Show," CBS, 5/11). Bulls GM Jerry Krause: "Personally, I could care less if Michael Jordan shows up in a jockstrap. If the league approves it, that's fine with me" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/11). RETAIL QUESTION: Sara Lee Corp., whose Champion unit makes the Bulls jerseys, said yesterday that it "is awaiting word whether making [No. 23 shirts] would violate its NBA contract" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/12). Champion Spokesperson Don Dardoff: "What we have done is do the blank jerseys and we'll add the numbers at a later time" (Maureen Jenkins, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/12).