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'Give me another month and a half. Middle of September.'- Michael Jordan, on his timetable for deciding whether he'll return to the NBA

Jordan jumps comeback hoop

Michael Jordan, president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards, has been working out with his own team recently, still gauging if, at age 38, he would be able to return at a high level.

On Tuesday, Jordan told WBBM Channel 2, a CBS affiliate, that he was still undecided about a comeback. "I think everybody's tried to point me in one direction or the next," he said. "But I've been very honest with myself in saying I'm still evaluating, I'm looking for the signs, I'm looking for all the things I feel I could do when I was playing. If you asked me today to make a decision, I would not play, because I still have so many question marks about myself physically."

Kings crown Webber

Nearly three years ago, Chris Webber joined the Sacramento Kings against his will. This fall, he will return to the city that has become his home.

Webber, the biggest prize in the NBA's free-agent sweepstakes, will re-sign with the Kings, his agent said Wednesday night.

Webber will receive a seven-year contract worth about $123 million - the largest possible deal under league rules. The NBA salary cap just increased this week from $35.5. million to $42.5 million next season. He is expected to sign the deal in Sacramento on Friday or Saturday, his agent, Fallasha Erwin, said.

"He's going back to Sacramento. He always wanted to go back with the Kings," Erwin said.

It took three progressively successful seasons to convince Webber that the bright lights of bigger cities weren't as attractive as the small-town Kings, who built a team around Webber that seems capable of contending for a title next season.

Pitch count strikes out

Umpires don't need to worry about baseball officials counting pitches anymore. The dispute between baseball and its umpires was resolved Wednesday, with the commissioner's office saying pitch counts won't be used as an evaluation technique.

As a result, umpires dropped their grievance filed last Saturday, which stated that the commissioner's office violated the umpires' labor contract by keeping track of the average number of pitches in games. The office had said high pitch counts can be an indication that umpires aren't applying the strike zone as defined in the rule book. "I'm relieved," said umpire Tim Tschida in Los Angeles. "I don't know if pitch count is a very accurate tool to gauge [an umpire's] performance."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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