MJ returns to practice; Brown signs contract


Michael Jordan’s comeback bid is back on track. Minutes after signing his name on top pick Kwame Brown’s contract, the Washington Wizards president morphed into a Wizards prospect, making a surprise appearance at practice for the first time since breaking two ribs. “Michael was Michael; he looked good,” guard Chris Whitney said. “He didn’t even have to try, the way he moved, used screens and those type of things. He looked good. He went as hard as he could go.” Jordan even survived some rough contact, getting knocked to the floor the first time the practice went full court. No. 1 overall pick Brown, who signed a three-year, dlrs 11.9 million deal, said Jordan showed no effect from the two broken ribs suffered in a pickup game a month ago. “He got up and played harder. He’s Mike,” Brown said. “You can’t keep up with Mike. He’s a step ahead of everybody. With two, three broken ribs, it doesn’t matter.” Jordan’s injury was supposed to keep him from full-fledged practices or games for six weeks. His return Friday, the first day of a Wizards three-day minicamp, was two weeks ahead of schedule. “He’s feeling much better, and I think he’s itching to start getting back into the swing of things,” coach Doug Collins said.

Jordan tried to keep his workout a secret, leaving by a side door while reporters were kept waiting in a hallway outside the Wizards practice court. He was not available for comment. Collins didn’t even mention that Jordan had practiced, leaving the players to spill the beans. Brown said he could tell Jordan was in such a hurry to get to practice when they were upstairs signing the contract. “He was ready to go down. He just signed his name and left,” Brown said. “He was ready to play.”