After Michael Jordan won his third straight NBA title with the Chicago Bulls, he stepped away from the game. People across the world witnessed the best player in basketball announce his retirement in 1994.
Jordan was dealing with the death of his father, and a lot was weighing on him. Even though he was in his prime, he felt that retiring was the best move for him. Jordan had a passion for baseball and decided to pursue a baseball career when he retired.
The end of Michael Jordan’s 1993 NBA season
Jordan helped lead the Bulls to two consecutive titles prior to the 1992-93 season. The Bulls were forming a dynasty and were the best team in the NBA. It only made it better that they had the best player in the league in Jordan as well.
At the end of that season, the Bulls had a 57-25 record and finished in the Central Division. The Bulls were the favorite once again to come out of the Eastern Conference. Jordan averaged 32.6 points per game, which led the league. Going into the playoffs, the Bulls swept its first two opponents in the first two rounds.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bulls took on the New York Knicks, and it was a battle, but Jordan was able to lead his team past the Knicks and advance to the finals. The Bulls took on the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals, and Jordan would dominate that series. He averaged 41 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists to lead the Bulls to its third straight title. Jordan was named the Finals MVP for a third consecutive year, and he was on top of the basketball world.
Michael Jordan switching to baseball
At the end of the 1993 season, Jordan was exhausted. After turning around a basketball organization and leading a team to three straight titles, that took a lot out of him. Jordan had already accomplished a lot, and he felt he did everything that he needed to do during his career.
In February of 1994, Jordan signed a Minor League Baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. One reason that Jordan pursued a baseball career was that it was a dream of his father’s. Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons, a Double-A minor league affiliate of the White Sox.
That season, Jordan batted .202 with three home runs, 51 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases. Those are some impressive numbers for some who did not play baseball in over 14 years. No matter what sport he played, Jordan was always competitive and always put in the extra work.
Jordan started the season on a good note. He had a 13-game hitting streak, which brought his batting average to .327 by late April. Jordan would take extra batting practice before and after the game because he wanted to make sure he was on top of his game and paid off for him.
Michael Jordan going back to basketball
In March of 1995, Jordan decided that he would make a return to the NBA. Jordan only played in 17 games during the 1994-95 season. The next season Jordan played like he did not miss a beat.
He would go on to lead the Bulls to another three-peat and now had six NBA championships. It did not take Jordan long to return to the NBA and continue to play at a high-level. Though he did not have the same success in baseball, he still had fun on the diamond and enjoyed playing the game that he loved other than basketball.