Sports Outside the Beltway

Michael Jordan and Wife File for Divorce

Michael Jordan and his wife of 17 years have filed for divorce.

Michael Jordan and his wife, Juanita, filed for divorce Friday after 17 years of marriage. “Michael and Juanita Jordan mutually and amicably decided to end their 17 year marriage,” the couple said in a statement issued through their lawyers. “A judgment for dissolution of their marriage was entered today. There will be no further statements.”

Michael Jordan and Wife Juanita Divorce Photo Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan, right, reacts to a reporters' question as his wife, Juanita, listens after he announced his retirement from basketball on Jan. 13, 1999, in Chicago. Jordan and his wife divorced Friday, Dec. 29, 2006, 17 years after the couple wed. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green,file) Juanita Jordan previously filed for divorce in January 2002, but withdrew her petition a month later when the couple announced they were attempting a reconciliation.

During her last divorce petition, Jordan said attempts to reconcile their marriage had failed and future ones “would be impractical and not in the best interests of the family.”

Truly a shame. Jordan’s lifestyle is not the most conducive to maintaining a stable marriage, unfortunately.


Phil Jackson: Shaq Lazy, Wade Cheats

LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson reignited the Lakers-Heat feud by calling Shaquille O’Neal lazy and saying that Dwayne Wade gets away with cheating on his patented spin move.

Jackson, who once upon a time seemed to favor his star center over his star shooting guard, on Sunday called out O’Neal, saying he was “the only person I’ve ever had that hasn’t been a worker.”

Shaq, who is rarely at a loss for words, was asked about Jackson’s comments on Monday following Miami’s 101-85 win over O’Neal’s former team. “How can Benedict Arnold be reliable in what he says?” the Big Aristotle was quoted as saying in Tuesday’s edition of The Los Angeles Times. O’Neal declined to elaborate on his statement and, since he was in street clothes for the game, was not required to give a formal post-game interview.

O’Neal and Bryant had been feuding since O’Neal’s trade to Miami following the 2003-04 season. But last year the two superstars stated publicly that they had reconciled their differences.

Then came Jackson’s comments on Sunday.

“He’s the one guy that didn’t really like to work,” said the coach who boasts nine NBA championship rings. “I know Pat [Riley] got him working here in Miami. We had a hard time getting him to work. All the other players — Michael [Jordan], Scottie [Pippen], Dennis Rodman, all those guys that we had, Horace Grant, they’re all hard-working practice and personal work players.”

Of course, O’Neal was not the only player Jackson prodded. Speaking about Dwyane Wade, Shaq’s new partner in crime and last year’s NBA Finals MVP, Jackson said, “He travels on that spin move. He picks up that pivot foot … everybody knows it. Dwyane Wade can cover so much ground when he makes that move. As you know, he can go 20 feet with that spin move and get to the basket.”

It’s really quite bizarre. Shaq did carry the Lakers to three straight NBA championships under Jackson; one doesn’t do that without putting forth some reasonable amount of effort. Conversely, the Kobe-led Lakers have been abysmal without the big, lazy oaf.


Michael Jordan’s Big Brother

Michael Jordan’s older brother James recently retired as the top sergeant major in the Army’s Signal Corps. The Fayetteville (NC) Observer has an interesting profile.

CSM James Jordan Photo James R. Jordan, who retired as a command sergeant major last month, took his 35th Signal Brigade troops to Iraq in 2004. Staff photo by Marc Hall James R. Jordan asked himself a question when his younger brother Michael became a NBA star in the mid-1980s. The elder Jordan, who had already spent about a decade in the Army, said, “OK, what are you going to be? Are you going to ride a coattail or are you going to keep doing like you are doing?”

James Jordan opted to keep doing what he was doing. Now, at age 48, he can look back on a 31-year Army career in which he became command sergeant major of the Army’s only airborne signal brigade, which is based at Fort Bragg. That’s the top job for an enlisted signal soldier.


Jordan always made his own way as a soldier. He didn’t hesitate to speak up when something needed to be said and made a point of downplaying his family tie, Allen said. “He would hardly let anybody ever come up and ask him about it,” Allen said. “He would probably flame you out if you said that to him.”

Jordan was bumping up against his 30-year retirement date when the 35th Signal Brigade got orders to go to Iraq in 2004. He talked to his family and decided he should go. “Jordan put his life on hold to go to deploy to Iraq with his soldiers,” said Allen, who made the same decision as command sergeant major of the 1st Corps Support Command. Jordan and Col. Bryan W. Ellis took the signal brigade to war in November 2004 and had responsibility for as many as 4,000 soldiers during a yearlong combat tour. “When I made the decision, I knew it was the right thing,” Jordan said.


Jordan went out his own way during an April 13 retirement ceremony on Fort Bragg. “Do you know that even though Michael Jordan was out there, everybody was still in line to shake Sergeant Major Jordan’s hand, not to pay homage to his brother,” Allen said. “I thought that was so cool. It was about Jordan the man.”

The Jordan family work ethic served both brothers quite well, taking them to the top of their careers.


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