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Stories Of The NBA: Michael Jordan’s First Retirement

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On October 5th, 1993, the shocking words crossed most sports networks across the globe: “Michael Jordan will announce that he is retiring tomorrow at a press conference in Deerfield, Ill.” Coming off 3 straight NBA championships, 3 straight NBA Finals MVPS, 7 straight scoring titles and 2 out of the last 3 NBA MVPs this was one of the most shocking statements in recent sports history. Although it was the biggest, It wasn’t the first extremely early retirement. Rocky Marciano retired at the age of 32 even while being the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world with a 49-0 record, a record Mayweather retired with. Sandy Koufax retired after a 27-6 season in 1966 at 30 years old. And just two years earlier, Magic Johnson had stunned the basketball fans everywhere when retired after contracting HIV. “I couldn’t believe my ears,” Pippen later told the media. He called Jordan and MJ responded. “It’s true,”I’m gone,” Jordan says he has no choice but to step away, that it’s time to move on.

As the world watches in disbelief and sadness , MJ  explains his decision, without any evidence of sadness or remorse in his voice. He actually smiles.  He says this decision is more so a relief in his athletic career, even with him being at the peak of his career.

“I’ve reached the pinnacle,” he tells the world. “I always said to the people that have known me that when I lose that sense of motivation and that sense that I can prove something, it’s time for me to leave.”

He glances out at the sea of reporters. He looks down. “It was just a matter of waiting until this time, when basketball was near, to see if my heart ticked for it,” Jordan says. “I went through all the different stages of getting myself prepared for the next year, but the desire … was not there.”

The common thought reason for the retirement? Michael Jordan’s father, James Jordan was tragically murdered four months prior and had always wanted MJ to pursue a career in baseball. So that is exactly what the 30-year-old MJ did…

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The Real Reason in my eyes? Jordan’s “retirement” was a suspension by David Stern for his gambling and partying issues. Nowadays, it’s common knowledge Jordan was a raging gambler, but at the time things like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram didn’t exist. I mean now its more obvious than ever, why else would Jordan be called to testify for a cocaine dealer that went under the name Slim Bouler? The dealer was caught and when searched by law enforcement they uncovered a check made out from Michael Jordan himself, for $57,000. What was the check for? To settle a gambling debt. Richard Aquinas even wrote a book about him and Jordan gambling on the golf course and at one point the NBA legend owing him $1.25 Million dollars.

On March 20th, 1992, the NBA had officially had enough. The announced they were personally investigating Jordan’s gambling problems and debts on behalf of the National Basketball Association. At the time, most people were certain that Jordan would be punished via suspension or at least a fine, but guess what magically happened? Jordan Retired. But why would the player in the prime of his career, on pace to become the NBA’s greatest call it quits because of a suspension? The Public Image. Jordan’s marketing image was that he was the greatest on the court and a role model off the court. He even made a cartoon movie in which he dominated vs the Monstars. That is something that could not be tarnished. So when the investigation rolled out, it is now assumed that Mr.Stern and Mr. Jordan made some type of handshake agreement in which allowed Jordan to serve a “punishment” and for him to keep his clean resume. Shortly after retiring, the NBA and Mr. Stern concluded Jordan’s investigation about his gambling. They reportedly found NO trace of any gambling linked to him. I mean from the words Jordan himself, “5 years down the line, if the bulls still want me, if I get that urge back, if David Stern lets me back in the league”. Now, why would the “Greatest” player of all time need to be let back into the league of his very own in which he had seen its rating SURGE in Jordan’s prime?

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Let’s take a look at this in perspective for a second. Regardless of how much his dad wanted him to play baseball, what normal person would give up everything mentioned, besides the suspension part, to go play MINOR LEAGUE Baseball… most of you wouldn’t. On top of all this, he clearly sucked at baseball and was basically a cash grab for the White Sox farm system to sell tickets.

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The Return.

In 1995, Jordan returned to the game he loved the most; Basketball. It took a while for him to get back to shape again said his trainer Tim Grover. Because the way the body works, and the way Jordan’s muscle were now contoured to the sport of baseball rather than basketball, he lacked his jump shooting technique and high flying ability. Although it didn’t take him long to get it back. After returning Jordan would go on to win another 3 NBA Finals rings and 3 NBA Finals MVPS and would cement himself as in most eyes, the greatest basketball player of all time.

And that’s the end of our story. By any means I am not discrediting Jordan’s career, saying everything here is factual or Jordan did 100% retire, for this reason, I am just providing you a story, better yet a conspiracy theory of what really happened, in my eyes on why Jordan retired for the first time…..

About Emmanuel Godina

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