Showing signs of his old trash-talking self, Michael Jordan made his first public appearance Saturday since the slaying of his father and said "we're moving forward with our lives."

Speaking with reporters for about 10 minutes before participating in the Rose Elder Invitational pro-am golf tournament in suburban Washington, D.C., Jordan waved off any questions about the death of his father and spoke instead of coping with tragedy and gaining strength from friends."When you have some problems in your life you need to be around a good support system, and these people have done a good job in supporting me, and I knew that coming in here," Jordan said. "I'm doing fine. I'm doing really good - strong mentally and strong physically."

Then, turning to one of his favorite amateur pursuits - needling - Jordan added that as the youngest celebrity in the event, "it really helps out to be around elderly people - this is the senior golf tour."

A graying Celtic great Bill Russell and pro golfer Jim Thorpe laughed and jeered.

Referring to a friendly golf game the two had played a day earlier, Russell said, "Hey, Michael, you did a good job yesterday being runner-up." Jordan retorted, when asked to describe Russell's game, by saying, "There's a lot of luck involved."

On Thursday the Chicago Bulls star issued a written statement thanking law enforcement officers for their handling of the murder case and attacking certain media outlets for speculating that the crime might have been connected with shady business deals by his father or his own gambling.

Investigators say James Jordan was shot shot to death on July 23 after stopping to nap on a roadside near Lumberton, N.C. Two teen-agers are accused of killing him in a random robbery, then dumping his body in a South Carolina creek and joy-riding in his car before abandoning it.

Jordan declined to elaborate on his comments Saturday, saying he would speak again about the murder "when the time hits me."

Elder opened the news conference by saying Jordan had decided to take no questions on the slaying of his father, and she asked reporters to respect that wish. The conference room was packed with cameramen and reporters who had been told Friday night that Jordan would discuss the case.

Jordan appeared in sunglasses, broad-brimmed hat, olive trousers and a beige-print golf shirt. Later, on the tee, he displayed his polished golf swing, lacing a three-wood down the fairway.

Joining Jordan at the two-day tournament was his wife Juanita, whom Jordan credited for providing the most support,

"She certainly hasn't let me out of her sight. And you certainly need that support," Jordan said.

In response to a question, Jordan said he had given no thought to his views on gun control in the wake of the murder. He also said he hadn't thought about the upcoming NBA season, which he said would have been the case even had there been no family tragedy.