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Michael Jordan backs out of President's Cup due to NBA lockout

November 3, 2011 |  8:07 am

Michael Jordan has decided not to be an assistant captain for the U.S. team at the President's CupMichael Jordan backing out of the President's Cup could be the most positive sign we've had in a while that progress is being made toward ending the NBA lockout.

OK, maybe that's a little wishful thinking on a slow news day as far as the lockout is concerned. But now that it's November and no NBA games are being played, fans are looking for any kind of positive sign.

Jordan, the Charlotte Bobcats majority owner, was slated to be an assistant captain for the U.S. team at Royal Melbourne in Australia from Nov. 17-20. But he announced earlier this week he is stepping down from that role, citing the lockout as his reason.

"With the NBA labor situation unsettled, as the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, I feel it is necessary that I remain in the country," Jordan said in a statement.

So does that mean there's some action on the lockout front that might require Jordan's presence? After all, we know the NBA legend loves golf. Jordan came along to the last Presidents Cup in San Francisco -- and apparently he enjoyed himself, because he initially agreed to do it again.

Wouldn't now actually be an ideal time for an NBA owner to enjoy a few days of golf in Australia, rather than during a typical NBA season that would just be getting into full gear at this point? Unless there is something going on behind the scenes we don't know about ...

Of course, that is nothing but speculation. As far as we know, the two sides aren't even talking to each right now. NBA Commissioner David Stern is reportedly trying to keep all of his owners on the same page, so maybe Jordan feels the need to be around for that.

Or maybe Jordan, like the rest of us, is simply hoping there will be a some kind of breakthrough at any given time. And then the players can return to the court, the fans can return to the stands ... and Jordan can return to the golf course.

RELATED:

NBA cancels November games when labor talks hit same wall

Heat owner Micky Arison fined $500,000 for lockout-related tweets

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Charlotte Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan walks to a meeting of NBA team owners in Dallas on Sept. 15. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press

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