MICHAEL JORDAN SAYS HE FELT LIKE HE WAS "USED" BY THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS AND HIS FIRING
WAS A SURPRISE -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY
Michael Jordan feels used by the Washington Wizards, the basketball team that unceremoniously fired him, just when he was trying his best to help the franchise become profitable. Getting fired was a particularly painful experience, especially after undergoing surgery to enable him to return to playing, says Jordan in an interview with Ed Bradley. Jordan's first major television interview in years will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Oct. 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"I didn't have to [start playing again]," says Jordan. "But I did it with the benefit of trying to help an organization to get back on their feet. And the gratitude that was given? It was, 'your service is no longer wanted or needed.' So I felt like I was used in a sense," he tells Bradley.
Jordan says he didn't see the firing coming. "No. If that was the case I obviously wouldn't have gone back to play�.I felt like I played injured, I went through surgery and I did the things that a lot of these young kids did not do," he says.
"The young kids in the game nowadays are getting so spoiled," Jordan tells Bradley. "It's affecting their work ethic. "The kids today are being given things that they haven't earned�.I think the game is being cheated�.simple as that," says Jordan.
At 42, Jordan says he could still make a contribution in the NBA, though he admits it's a case of mind over body. "Oh yeah, sure [I could contribute]. Even though, physically, I can't do it, the mind says, 'Yeah, I can still do it,' and I still think I can do it better than most in the NBA," he tells Bradley.
Jordan has written a new book, Driven from Within, published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster, which, like CBS, is Viacom company.