Michael Jordan, who's been retired since the conclusion of the 2002-03 season when he played for the Washington Wizards, has been tapped as the cover athlete, and as a consultant, for the upcoming NBA 2K11 game.
Jordan will also be featured in the game, which I believe will mark his first official in-game appearance in an NBA video game since NBA Live 2003.
Jordan was a character in some of the earliest NBA video games created, such as Lakers vs. Celtics and Bulls vs. Lakers, but around '93 or so he, Charles Barkley, and others signed individual deals with video-game companies to get a larger share of the profits, thus preventing them from being featured in future games without their permission. (Kind of like a Barry Bonds thing).
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One of the other causes, is that the gear itself, only being plastic, will tend to wear down, and not work correctly anymore. When you hear a clicking noise before getting the DRE, that is what the cause is.