Skip to main content

"I thought, Jordan had already done it in that Chicago uniform...put on the green" - Ex-Celtics GM recalled trying to sign Michael Jordan

M.L. Carr offered a first-round pick just to have the right to talk to MJ.

The NBA community was stunned when Michael Jordan decided to retire in 1993 after leading the Chicago Bulls to their first three-peat. At the time, many were unsure about what was going on in Jordan’s head, and more, there was little confidence in the idea that “His Airness” would make a comeback sooner rather than later. Former Boston Celtics general manager M.L. Carr was not fooled.

Carr was all-in on MJ

Every summer, fans get their regular dose of NBA rumors. Apparently, in July 1994, an underpublicized rumor stated that the Celtics attempted to sign Jordan despite being retired. It was labeled a “rumor” until Carr himself confirmed in 2020 that he had a phone conversation with the late former Bulls GM Jerry Krause about his bold plan.

As I understand it, Jerry [Krause] denied having the conversation, which is absolutely not true,” Carr told NBC Sports. “We did have a conversation. I reached out to Jerry, realizing that Michael had left the game. I knew Michael was not gone forever.

Carr still vividly recalls offering Krause “a first-round draft pick” for a chance to talk to MJ. However, Krause was remarkably dismissive and adamant that Jordan was never coming back.

I offered Jerry a first-round draft pick [to simply talk with Jordan] and he goes, ‘Well, M.L., Mike is not coming back. He’s retired’,” Carr continued. “But he denied the fact that I did that, I guess to save face with his owners…I thought, [Jordan] had already done it in that Chicago uniform, if he got a chance to come to Boston, put on the green, what a great thing that would be from a marketing standpoint.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

A promising future was imminent

As it turned out, Carr was right, and Jordan did return the following season. After shaking off some rust in the 1994/95 campaign, MJ took off and completed another three-peat with the Bulls.

In retrospect, Jordan was truly destined to achieve greatness in Chicago. But Carr pictured a promising and lucrative career was also waiting for him in Boston.

He would have made a fortune…It didn’t happen. It would have been wonderful…it would be a whole other marketing avenue for him, which would absolutely go through the roof…I think it was a long shot but I was willing to give it a shot.

After all, it will forever be debated whether Jordan would’ve looked good in green or not. One thing certain is that Carr’s revelation leaves the Bulls faithful thanking Krause for not letting that proposed conversation with MJ go down and die-hard Celtics fans shaking their heads for the botched opportunity to sign the GOAT.

JJ Redick & Phoenix Suns

JJ Redick shares what makes the Phoenix Suns an even better team and a legitimate contender this season- “I think it makes them a title contender”

Redick notes Bridges' improvements this season before saying that Bridges may be the X factor that could help the Suns emerge as title contenders this season

Charles Barkley & Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Despite not knowing his name, Charles Barkley offers a stern warning to the public if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t an All-Star starter this season

Barkley said SGA should be an All-Star starter, but couldn't manage to say his name correctly, and hilariously referred to him as Shai Alexander Gilchrist in the process

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career

Larry Bird

"It makes me sick to my stomach" - Larry Bird on tanking in the NBA

If Larry Legend knew his team was tanking, he would've left it outright.

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc

"I knew when I'd come here I am going to be this rookie kid that carries bags" - Toni Kukoc on how European players felt criticized coming into the NBA

His European basketball legacy may have not mattered in the NBA, but for Kukoc, he was still the "Croatian Sensation"

New Jersey Nets forward Kenyon Martin

“Everything after that was just basketball” — Kenyon Martin revealed the best moment of his career

For K-Mart, being drafted in the NBA was monumental but not a dream-come-true.