Michael Jordan and the term “history” seemingly go hand in hand. The Chicago Bulls legend had a historic NBA career during the ’90s and has made history off the hardwood since his playing days ended.
With the Bulls, Jordan won six championships in an eight-year span. He won six Finals MVPs, never played in a Game 7 in the Finals, and three-peated twice.
After he retired for the third and final time in 2003, Jordan made history seven years later when he became the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets (they were called the Bobcats at the time). The five-time MVP was the first former player to become a principal owner in NBA history.
Passions and goals always change in life, and Jordan is a prime example of that since owning an NBA team was never in his cards, especially not in 1993 when he retired from basketball for the first time.
Michael Jordan retires after third title to play baseball
In the 1993 NBA Finals against Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns, Jordan averaged 41.0 points per game to lead the Bulls to their third championship. Chicago won the series in six games, and it was John Paxson — not MJ — who hit the game-winning 3-pointer in Game 6.
Jordan was already thinking about retiring after winning his third title. It became official for him after his father was tragically murdered in the summer of ’93. He also no longer had the motivation to play since he won three titles, three Finals MVPs, and three regular-season MVPs in nine years.
After taking some time off physically, Jordan announced he would play baseball, the sport he loved as a child before basketball. His Airness played for the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A team of the Chicago White Sox.
But before he decided to play baseball, Jordan sat down with the late great Larry King to talk about a variety of topics and admitted that he didn’t have an interest in becoming an NBA owner, which is fascinating consider what he’s doing now.
Jordan told Larry King he didn’t want to own an NBA team
When King asked Jordan if he wanted to own an NBA team in November 1993, the NBA icon said no. He said the salaries were getting “outrageous.”
“An owner’s got to be very knowledgeable. You gotta be into the sport,” Jordan said. “It’s a shrewd business. I haven’t seeked a position in the front office.”
Jordan returned to the Bulls in ’95 and won three more championships, three more Finals MVPs, and two more regular-season MVPs. He retired for the second time in 1998 before playing for the Washington Wizards in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
After retiring for the final time in 2003, Jordan stayed out of the limelight until 2010, when he did the exact opposite thing he told King in 1993 he wouldn’t do.
MJ buys the Hornets
In March 2010, Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte franchise. The NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved his $275 million bid to buy the team from Bob Johnson.
“Purchasing the Bobcats is the culmination of my post-playing career goal of becoming the majority owner of an NBA franchise,” Jordan said in a statement. “I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to build a winning team in my home state of North Carolina. I plan to make this franchise an organization that Charlotte can be proud of, and I am committed to doing all that I can to achieve this goal.”
Something clearly changed with Jordan from 1993 to 2010. The Hornets haven’t won a playoff series since the Hall of Famer became the owner, but that could change with LaMelo Ball in the fold.