Can someone explain this further?.. I still dont understand... even if he signs away his rights, isnt he still ultimately signed under the NBA? ... So cant they use him however they like? In otherwords, anything the NBA sells their name to should have full use of the NBA product.. I cant imagine the NBA selling off contracts that say "You can use any player, team, or product of the NBA except Michael Jordan" Feel me?
He is no longer a NBA player. if he played, he would appear unless he payed big time cash. in the 90s it was not his call, it was his manager's. when he played with the wizards, it was his to make.
Well, I would like to get a definitive grasp on these rules. I assumed it used to have something to do with his suggested exclusive deal with the "Chaos in the Windy City" people or a refusal to be a part of the NBA players' union. Neither of these claims are substantiated and they're essentially wild guesses but Jordan did not appear in an NBA basketball game between what I want to say was 1992-1999. I did have him in Tecmo NBA Basketball for the NES (around 1991).
After his retirement, I figured Jordan signed an exclusive deal with EA Sports in 2000, which would explain his appearance in a special one-on-one mode that year and maybe the subsequent years (as well as the inclusion of three Jordan likenesses in EA's NBA Street Vol. 2).
Further, once more on a whim, I guessed Jordan joined the players association upon his return with the Washington Wizards in 2001, allowing the full use of his current likeness in other company's games (the NBA 2K series for instance).
Now, upon his final retirement, I believe it is up to each respective gaming company to make an offer to use a players' likeness, as retired players are no longer a part of an all-encompassing NBA union. If this be the case, one would imagine a steep asking price for MJ's likeness. Though I will say, it is relatively ironic to see NBA 2K plastered with MJ apparel logos but no Jordan himself.
If you guys notice one common theme, it's that every game he's been in, including his first game (Chaos in the Windy City), was made by EA.
I think Jordan sold his rights to EA, and there was possibly litigation after MJ blew up and wanted his likeness back (or wanted more money). EA probably won the litigation, and MJ agreed to be in certain games (Street, Live, etc) to fulfill his contract obligations.