Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Jordan's relationship with the Washington Wizards has deteriorated to the point that he and the franchise might part ways, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Citing two unidentified team executives, The Times said mounting player resentment toward Jordan, ownership's concerns about Jordan's work ethic as an executive, and Jordan's misgivings about the team's direction has left his future in doubt.

Jordan, who gave up his position as president of basketball operations when he returned as a player two years ago, will meet with Wizards owner Abe Pollin next week.

"All issues pertaining to the future direction of the franchise will be discussed later this week," Pollin said through a spokesman.

A spokeswoman for Jordan told The Associated Press that she would not comment on the report.

The Times also reported that an Eastern Conference official said Saturday that Jordan's advisers have been seeking to set up meetings about Jordan's potential ownership of other NBA teams.

The 40-year-old Jordan often criticized his teammates - and several of them took shots at him in return - as the Wizards stumbled to a 37-45 finish and missed the playoffs for the second straight season with Jordan in the lineup.

Before Jordan returned as a player, he attempted to run the team from his home in Chicago, leading to criticism that he was not sufficiently active in the day-to-day running of the franchise.

On Friday, Wizards general manager Wes Unseld said he's taking a leave of absence to deal with health issues. The 57-year-old Unseld will leave the team following the NBA draft on June 26 for an undetermined amount of time.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.