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It's been a year since pro basketball entered the A.M. (after Michael) era. And the return from air to earth has been less bumpy than most would have thought.

The National Basketball Association managed to re-sign nearly all its major sponsors for the coming season. And while no one star emerged to fill Mr. Jordan's shoes, a team of young athletes, including Shaquille O'Neal, Anfernee Hardaway and Chris Webber, is racking up endorsement deals.

And Mr. Jordan? His determination to play baseball is scoring points with fans. While his career change meant a change in ad strategy for some of the products he endorses, no one has seen a corresponding decline in sales.

Details on Page 46.

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