NBA

Michael Jordan Didn’t Want to Be Inducted Into the Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan was a shoo-in for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame once he was eligible. Jordan was one of, if not the, greatest basketball players of all-time. There was no way he would not be inducted. However, Jordan did not want it. Leading up to his enshrinement, Michael Jordan did not want to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame just yet.

Michael Jordan was inducted in 2009

In April 2009, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Michael Jordan was going to be one of the class of 2009 inductees. Jordan was then officially inducted in September 2009. 

“Simply the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. He is the one player that each young person in this league should emulate and aspire to become. His work ethic, drive, skill level, and competitive spirit were unmatched,” said former Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson, according to NBA.com. “Michael was the greatest winner I’ve ever witnessed in sport and it was an honor to be his teammate and to be able to go along for the wonderful ride.”

John Paxson

Jordan went into the Hall of Fame as one of the most accomplished players of all-time. Here is a look at all of his accomplishments.

  • Six-time NBA champion
  • Five-time NBA MVP
  • Six-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 14-time All-Star
  • 10-time NBA scoring champ
  • 1987-88 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 32,292 career points (fifth all-time) 
  • 2,514 career steals (third all-time)
  • Averaged 30.1 points per game over the course of his career (first all-time)

His resume speaks for itself. Jordan was one of the greatest players to ever play and that is why he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he could be. 

Jordan had control over “The Last Dance”

“The Last Dance” documentary that covers the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls is finally coming out. Camera crews followed the Bulls the entire season that year as they completed their second three-peat of the decade. 

However, the film sat in a vault for two decades, according to ESPN. This was because Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was the head of NBA Entertainment at the time the documentary was recorded, had an agreement about when it could be released.

“Our agreement will be that neither one of us can use this footage without the other’s permission,” Silver told Jordan, according to ESPN. “It will be kept — I mean literally it was physical film — as a separate part of our Secaucus [New Jersey] library. Our producers won’t have access to it. It will only be used with your permission.”

Adam Silver

Jordan gave the greenlight in 2016. Now, the documentary is finally coming out and things people did not know about Jordan are being discovered. 

Not wanting to go into the Hall of Fame yet

Michael Jordan was one of the best basketball players of all-time. He was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame but he didn't want to be inducted.
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls talks to the press after practice at the Berto Center in Deerfield, Illinois. | BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne recently wrote a story about how “The Last Dance” was made possible. Shelburne spoke to the director Jason Hehir for the story and Hehir wanted to figure out why Jordan finally gave the go-ahead for the documentary to be released.

Hehir said that Jordan didn’t like the idea of an old Michael Jordan. He said that Jordan “doesn’t want to be looked at as something in the past.”

“I think he bristles at the notion of any project being definitive because it means his story is over,” Hehir said, according to ESPN. “He bristles at the notion of a number being hung in the rafters. He bristled at the statue when they put that up while he was on his baseball hiatus.”

Jason Hehir

This is so much so that Jordan did not want to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame yet. Hehir spoke to Jordan’s former teammate B.J. Armstrong and Armstrong said before Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame he called Armstrong to ask what the eligibility rules were. Armstrong then told him it was five years after the player’s last game. Jordan then asked if his induction would be delayed another five years if he just checked into a game and played one play, according to ESPN.

Of course, Michael Jordan was eventually going to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the sport. Before he was inducted, though, Jordan was not ready for it.