SBD/12/Leagues Governing Bodies

FOLLOW THE NUMBER; WILL MJ OBEY THE LEAGUE OR HIS NUMBER 23?

     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).
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