Michael Jordan shocked the entire NBA world in 1993 when he announced he would be retiring from the NBA at the age of 30. By then, he won three consecutive NBA championships — this hasn’t been done since the 1960s when Boston Celtics ruled the world. MJ was at his peak and probably the most famous athlete in the world.
There were numerous rumors why Jordan decided to retire; however, in one of his interviews, Jordan was very honest about what led to him leave the team and focus on other things in his life, predominantly playing baseball. Jordan said the chemistry in the team wasn’t the same, and he saw relationships in the team deteriorate because of jealousy.
“Horace and I never saw eye to eye because he was griping so much about what I was getting. There was a lot of jealousy on the Bulls by the end of that third championship season, and my relationship with Horace was tainting my relationship with Scottie. The harmony wasn’t great. John Paxson and I were very close. But there were a lot of issues. And I was exhausted. In my mind, I retired long before my father was killed. That had nothing to do with me going to play baseball. I had decided to retire earlier that season. My father and I had been talking about playing baseball for an entire year, all the way back to before the 1992 Olympics.”
Jordan also said the only reason why he came back after winning the second championships was a pure determination to do something Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never did, which was a three-peat. Jordan’s first passion was baseball because of his father, and in some way, he wanted to make his father proud by trying to play baseball professionally, which he eventually did.
“After we won the first two titles back to back, the only reason I came back was to win three in a row, which was something Larry and Magic never did. THAT WAS MY ONLY MOTIVATION. My father’s biggest passion was baseball. He was the one who got me started in baseball, and it was my first love, too. I was just tired of being around the team. I had been there before any of them, so I felt certain seniority. But everybody wanted to take credit. They’d talk about how I never won anything until they came around. I wanted to see if they could do it by themselves, so that had something to do with it, too. I was just fed up with all of it.”