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Rumors of his impending resignation swept the country Tuesday speculation that he would finally quit was front-page news Wednesday in the nations most prestigious papers -- including the New York Times and the Washington Post and the press conference where he finally announced that he was really going to leave was broadcast live on several American television networks Its not the President of the United States that were talking about but someone who is probably at least as well known in North America -- and anyplace else in the world where the sport of basketball is played -- the athlete Michael Jordan A sports reporter in the Houston Chronicle newspaper wrote that Jordan could not be in a public place for longer than 30 minutes before being overrun and overwhelmed by his fans In the world of sport Michael Jordan is to basketball what the Brazilian legend Pele was to international football or Romanias Nadia Comanici was to Olympic gymnastics He reached a level of excellence in his chosen sport that had not been seen before and that many say will never be seen again At a press conference Wednesday that was so crowded it had to be held in the auditorium where he played Jordan officially announced his retirement -- he said forever -- from the sport Said Jordan I am here to announce my retirement from the game of basketball It wont be another announcement to baseball or anything of that nature I think everyone has their own reasons Theres been a lot of speculation in terms of why So many experts -- active and former coaches and players -- sports writers and ordinary fans consider Jordan to be the greatest basketball player ever Outside the auditorium where his team -- the Chicago Bulls -- plays is a statue of Jordan in an action pose It bears the inscription The Best
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