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Jordan retirement creates buzz on Net

Michael Jordan Web sites are hopping with news that the NBA legend is retiring from professional basketball.

Michael Jordan Web sites were buzzing today with news that the basketball sports legend is retiring from the Chicago Bulls.

"The game is bigger than Michael Jordan," the CNN site quoted the basketball superstar as saying at his press conference today. ESPN's site carried audio and video of Jordan's departure.

In honor of his retirement, Comet Systems created a Michael Jordan cursor for PC users.

The Chicago Bulls Web site, which previously had kept mum about the expected retirement, said: "Jordan Retires."

Touting online coverage of the press gathering, Webcaster RealNetworks pointed out that Jordan was signing off for the second time in his illustrious career. Following the murder of his father, Jordan previously retired in 1993 in order to pursue a less-than-successful minor-league baseball career.

"Jordan bows out," the Internet edition of the hometown Chicago Tribune read.

All of the Net's top sports sites led with the news and promptly offered tribute to the high-scoring 13-year veteran from North Carolina, who took his team to six NBA championships during the past eight years.

The vast majority of voters in an ESPN.com poll yesterday said they believe Jordan has picked the right time to retire. More than 38,000 fans had responded to the question "What's your reaction to Michael Jordan's retirement?," and 66.1 percent chose the response, "Going out on top is just right," 23.1 percent chose "too soon," and 10.7 percent voted that he "shouldn't have come back in 1995."

Also, more than 17,000 fans responded to another ESPN.com user poll that posed the question, "Who will replace Michael Jordan as the NBA's signature player?" Some 66 percent voted "nobody," 13.2 percent voted "Kobe Bryant," 10.4 percent voted "Grant Hill," 4.9 percent voted "Tim Duncan," and 4.7 percent voted "Shaquille O'Neal."

Message boards and chat rooms were busy with word of Jordan's expected retirement. "Jordan among the best players ever," one remark read on Yahoo's site.

Added another: "For all of you who are mourning the departure of Michael Jeffrey Jordan, cry no more! I believe the Bulls are just a few seasons away from NBA title contention."

News.com's Kurt Oeler contributed to this report.