When one thinks of the greatest player ever to play the sport of basketball, one would often picture a 6ft 6″ man in a Bulls #23 jersey. Michael Jordan was one of a kind and arguably the greatest basketball player. It wasn’t only his sheer ability to flip the game at a moment’s notice but also how he did it gracefully.
Jordan’s game was both beautiful to watch and incredible enough to strike fear in his opponent’s hearts. The Bulls Legend won 6 NBA Championships, 6 NBA Finals MVPs, 5 NBA MVPs, was a 14x All-Star, and so much more.
Jordan played fifteen(almost) seasons in the NBA. MJ retired twice during the prime of his career. Else we might have seen eight rings on his fingers instead of six.
Yes, Michael Jordan is retired. Here are the three times His Airness retired from the NBA.
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Michael Jordan’s 1st retirement(1993):
In 1993, the Chicago Bulls took down the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the NBA Finals to secure their third championship in a row. The Bulls became the first team since the 60s Celtics to three-peat. As expected, Michael Jordan was the star of the show. He won his third consecutive Finals MVP.
On October 6, 1993, MJ surprised the world and announced his retirement from basketball. He claimed he’d lost his desire to play the sport. While there are many theories about what happened, Jordan claimed it had to do with his dad’s death three months prior.
Jordan went on to play Minor League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox.
Michael Jordan announced his first retirement 27 years ago
In two years before returning to the NBA in ’95…
⁰⚾️ Played minor league baseball for the White Sox⁰
🏀 Retired No. 23 in the United Center rafters⁰
👟 The Jordan 10 was designed by Tinker Hatfield
Goat things pic.twitter.com/srXhaiPFQ5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 6, 2020
After 17 months away from basketball, MJ announced his return to the sport in March 1995. He played his first game back against the Indiana Pacers, scoring 19 points.
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Michael Jordan’s 2nd retirement(1998):
After returning in 1995, Jordan wasn’t in proper shape. His jump shot was off, as described by his teammate Steve Kerr. The Bulls lost to Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic in the 2nd round.
However, from 1996 to 1998, Michael Jordan helped the Bulls achieve their 2nd three-peat. They won three more championships, and His Airness once again won three consecutive Finals MVPs. Due to contract issues, the expiring contracts of Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman, and problems with the GM, MJ announced his 2nd retirement from the NBA on January 13, 1999. MJ claimed that he was ‘99.9%’ certain that he wouldn’t play another NBA game, leaving the 0.1% window open.
Michael Jordan announces his retirement for the second time in 1999.
This was 7 months after winning his last championship and days after the NBA agreed to end the lockout. #TheLastDance
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 18, 2020
In January 2000, MJ returned as part owner and President of Basketball Operations of the Washington Wizards.
Michael Jordan’s third and final retirement(2003):
On September 25, 2001, Michael Jordan announced he would suit up for the Wizards and donate his salary to a relief effort for 9/11 victims. MJ played two seasons, failing to make playoffs in both. Even though the Wizards had an improvement in their record, it wasn’t what MJ had expected or wanted.
On 16 April 2003, Jordan played his final NBA Game in a contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Wizards lost the contest 107-87. He received standing ovations from players, coaches, and fans alike when he checked out of the game with 1:44 left in the 4th quarter.
Talking about the same, he said,
“Now I guess it hits me that I’m not going to be in a uniform anymore — and that’s not a terrible feeling. It’s something that I’ve come to grips with, and it’s time. This is the final retirement.”
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