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NBA Legend Jordan Shuts Down Speculation of 3rd Comeback - 2003-10-08

Legendary National Basketball Association player Michael Jordan has shut down speculation that he might come out of retirement to play for former coach Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In a published report, the former Chicago Bulls coach said he had thought about asking Jordan to play for the Lakers, if Kobe Bryant is unable to because of his current legal problems.

Bryant has a scheduled court appearance in Eagle, Colorado Thursday, when it will be determined in a preliminary hearing whether he will stand trial for felony sexual assault.

But Jordan, who led the Bulls to six NBA Championships under Jackson in the 1990's, has ruled out a third return from retirement. Through a spokeswoman, Jordan was certain he would not consider the offer, saying his answer was "100 percent no."

Jordan retired after last season after playing two seasons for the Washington Wizards. But he butted heads with teammates and ownership and, ultimately, was fired when he tried to return to his front-office position with the franchise.