A team owner in the NBA Development League apologized for misleading fans who thought Michael Jordan would play in a charity game at the Utah Flash's home opener in Provo.
Flash owner Brandt Andersen acknowledged sending a Jordan look-alike around town Monday, when supposed Jordan sightings and an Internet video of the impostor eating at a local restaurant created a buzz.
More than 7,500 fans showed up at the contest, hoping to see Jordan play a game of 21 against former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell at halftime.
The team said it would grant fans refunds for the tickets.
Andersen maintained that he held out hope that Jordan would play.
"This was done in fun," Andersen wrote on his blog after the game. "If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top, I am sorry."
Fans caught on when the impostor trotted to the court at halftime. They booed, then left.
Jordan's jumper over Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals gave the Chicago Bulls a series victory over Utah. Jazz fans still insist that Jordan pushed off Russell to get the shot.
Portland forward Rudy Fernandez underwent surgery yesterday to alleviate nerve pressure in his back that caused leg pain.
He will be sidelined for up to six weeks, the team said. The Spaniard is averaging 8.6 points per game.
The Indiana Pacers, who have dropped nine of their last 10 games, have lost their scoring leader, Danny Granger, for at least four weeks with a foot injury.
Granger has a torn right plantar fascia, the tissue across the bottom of the foot connecting the heel and toes, the Pacers said. He is averaging 24.4 points per game.