Michael Jordan Retires

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Shelve all those adjectives -- Jordanesque, Jordanaire -- and stop trying to Be Like Mike: At age 35, Michael Jordan is once again walking away from the NBA. For once, Jordan was at a loss on the United Center court. The usual smoothness was gone, replaced by the emotion of trying to explain why he was quitting what he does best: His heart's not in it anymore, Jordan said: "Mentally, I'm exhausted, I don't feel I have a challenge."

Of course, a July spent watching the NBA finals from the Barcalounger can do wonders for your mental state. Will Jordan come back a third time? "I never say never," Jordan said, smiling. But then he said he's 99.9 percent sure that this is it. And as the hourlong press conference progressed and Jordan grew visibly more relaxed-- as if he could feel the weight of carrying the entire NBA lifting from his shoulders -- you could believe that this truly was The End. The next challenge for the man Fortune estimates to have added $10 billion to the economy? Maintaining the brand that is Michael Jordan. Nike stock fell a couple of points on Jordan's announcement Tuesday before leveling off today. Time to start scoring points on Wall Street.