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SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies
IS THE LUSTER BEGINNING TO WEAR OFF OF AIR?
Published May 15, 1995
The reaction to Michael Jordan's number change has turned generally negative for both the NBA and Jordan. OPINION SAMPLER: In New York, Harvey Araton writes, "Here, we are again seeing the self-righteous side of Jordan that few seemed to remember when people were lamenting the chaotic, greed driven state of a National Basketball Association without him." Araton writes that Jordan is "sending a message" to the NBA's younger players that he had criticized when he returned: "If Jordan is bigger than the rules, why aren't they?" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/15). In S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes, "Jordan isn't showing a shred of respect for the league, he's manipulating it like a yo- yo. He does it for a very simple reason: Because he can" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/15). In Chicago, Melissa Isaacson, on the Bulls' role: "Does it smack of extreme arrogance to buck the league you are a part of, to make yourself into martyrs over a rule, er, policy that everyone else has to abide by? Sure, it does" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/14). In Dallas, Cathy Harasta criticizes the league for fining the Bulls instead of Jordan: "His team got the big fine, which apparently reflected the NBA's reluctance to go for a direct hit on Jordan" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/13). But in Philadelphia, Diane Pucin writes that Jordan has "earned" the right to wear whatever he wants: "It was a ridiculous thing, the NBA stomping its collective feet in its office in New York" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/14). On ESPN's "Sports Reporters," Mike Lupica said, "David Stern is another talented member of Michael Jordan's supporting cast. He'll get used to it. Scottie Pippen did." Skip Bayless called Jordan "bigger than the game. ... Michael is the commissioner of this league" (ESPN, 5/14). NO MIKES FOR MIKE: Jordan's refusal to talk to the media has spread to several players on both teams in the Bulls-Magic series causing NBA Commissioner David Stern to address the situation, according to Mark Heisler in this morning's L.A. TIMES. Heisler reports that Stern, after being informed of the problem, declared: "No Steve Carlton's here." NBA VP of Public Relations Brian McIntyre has since met with officials of both teams and told reporters, "I'm sure you'll see more cooperation" (L.A. TIMES, 5/15). Bruce Jenkins writes of Jordan's media blackout, "The situation bears one conclusion above all else: Michael Jordan isn't just the best player in the league. He is the league. He dictates everything to his exact specifications" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/15). HE STILL SELLS: McDonald's Jordan-NBA ad campaign that started shortly after his return is featured in USA TODAY's "Ad Track," a poll conducted on the effectiveness of advertising campaigns: 47% called the campaign "very effective," while only 14% thought it was "not effective." 34% liked the campaign, while only 11% said they "hate it" (Dottie Enrico, USA TODAY, 5/15)....ABC's Armen Keteyian covered the "commercial war" is taking place with the Shaq-Michael match-up. Keteyian called Jordan's target audience as more mainstream, compared to Shaq's younger followers. O'Neal's agent Leonard Armato: "It is sort of like Jordan's was this incredible stereo that's best ever and all of a sudden Shaq comes along and he's in the digital age and he's multimedia" ("Good Morning America," ABC, 5/15).