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“The Camaraderie Is Not the Same”: 6X NBA Champion Michael Jordan Admitted Jolting Truth About His MLB Career in 2004

Published 10/21/2022, 9:30 AM EDT

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Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls legend, shocked the NBA universe when he announced his first retirement from the game of basketball. After winning three straight championships with the team, Jordan wanted to dominate another sport. And what other sport could it be other than his first love, baseball? 

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‘His Airness’ retired from the NBA in 1993 to go play in Minor League Baseball. He played for the Birmingham Barons. And even though Jordan wasn’t as successful at baseball as he was at basketball, he admits to missing one thing from that sport.


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Michael Jordan shares one thing he misses about baseball

Ahmad Rashad sat down in 2004 with some of the greats from various sports. There was Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Warren Sapp, Roy Jones Jr., and Michael Jordan. Jordan has admitted to baseball being his first love rather than basketball. 

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In fact, he started playing baseball before he switched to basketball while in high school. So when talking to Rashad, he told him about his love for baseball. Jordan told Rashad what he liked about the sport during his stint with the Barons.


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“The thing I like about baseball is the camaraderie. Hanging out with the guys pretty much the whole time. When I played in the minor leagues with that two-year stint, I mean that was the best time I ever had,” Jordan said. 

MJ went on to explain why: “You see such a strong passion for the game, and you hang out together. It’s like a gang. You cover each other’s back, you go out, you eat together, you do everything basically together.” 


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Then he further differentiated how basketball is different from all that. Jordan then broke down the difference between the two sports. The six-time NBA champion said, “ Basketball is a little bit different, especially professionally. Because you get away, there’s not as many people. Guys go every which way, you may meet up at certain times but the camaraderie is not quite the same.”

Jordan and his comeback to the NBA

But still, Jordan had a few friends and teammates in the NBA who desperately wanted him back. It’s probably safe to say that all the basketball fans in the world wanted Michael Jordan to come back to the league.


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Watch This Story – Looking back at how Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, and the rest of the NBA reacted after Michael Jordan returned from his first retirement

During a game, Bulls teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen held up the sole of his shoe in front of the camera while pointing at the Jodan logo, enticing MJ to come back. And so he did. They went on to form one of the best teams in NBA history and win another set of three-peat championships with the Chicago Bulls

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Written by:

Abhishek Dhariwal


One take at a time

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He earned his bachelor's degree in English Honors from St. Xavier's College and his master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from AAFT School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
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Edited by:

Veer Badani