“5 More Years and I’m Out, I’m Marking These Days Like I’m in Jail”: When Michael Jordan Was Fed Up of Being “Used” Before the Best Years of His Career

Published 01/25/2023, 3:00 PM EST
Image Courtesy – Imago

Michael Jordan‘s willingness to win and his consistency on the court was a sight to behold in the NBA. The six-time NBA champ established himself as one of the greatest players due to his unimaginable domination with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. However, Jordan’s desire to focus on other aspects of his life and the sacrifices it took to dominate consistently on the court often left him feeling distanced from the game. Back in 1990, after years of failure to win a championship ring, Michael Jordan was once fed up with being ‘used’ by the league and the Bulls franchise, years before the best phase of his basketball career.

Jordan’s level of competitiveness was quite impossible to match on the court. However, ‘His Airness’ has lost interest in the game a few times, resulting in several retirements during his career. However, after years of frustration, Jordan planned to leave the NBA in an attempt to improve his life situation.

Michael Jordan counted the days, looking forward to his NBA exit

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Since his entry into the NBA in 1984, Michael Jordan was believed to be the most valuable asset in the league. Apart from the Chicago Bulls, the NBA also made sure that they took advantage of MJ’s popularity to increase the league’s reach. In addition, the media never left Michael Jordan’s side, which ended up frustrating him in 1990.

As per Sam Smith’s 1991 book The Jordan Rules, Michael Jordan participated in the three-point shooting contest in 1990. However, despite the increase in his three-point shooting abilities, MJ achieved an all-time low score of five points during the competition. Sam Smith suggested that Jordan was quite fed up with various frustrating aspects of the league and expressed his desire to leave the NBA to his teammates.

Image Courtesy – Imago

As per the book, Jordan told his teammates in January 1990, “Five more years and I’m out of here. I’m marking these days on a calendar, like I’m in jail. I’m tired of being used by this organization, by the league, by the writers, everyone.”

Jordan appeared to be frustrated by all the attention he was getting in the league. Smith revealed that Jordan started to lose the fun aspect of being a basketball player due to the amount of time he had to dedicate to the league. Thus, despite scoring heavily in the NBA, Jordan had doubt and resentment in his mind about the league and felt like he was being used. A little while later, Jordan also ended up firing a shot at the Chicago Bulls franchise.

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Jordan fired shots at Bulls management

Michael Jordan was beginning to get frustrated in 1990 after consistently failing to make it beyond the playoffs since his rookie season. The 14-time All-Star felt that the lack of activeness in making deals by the Bulls management was one of the major reasons behind their lack of championship wins.

Jordan also ended up claiming that the Bulls were not interested in winning. Michael Jordan stated, “They just want to sell tickets, which they can do because of me. They won’t make any deals to make us better. And this [Toni] Kukoc thing. I hate that. They’re spending all their time chasing the guy.”

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WATCH THIS STORY – What 3 Numbers Did Michael Jordan Wear in His Career?

Thus, the Bulls legend took a dig at his own franchise while feeling frustrated about his contribution to the league due to the lack of championship victory. However, things changed quickly in 1991 as the Bulls won their first championship and went on to win five more over the course of the decade.

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Rohit Kumawat

624 articles

Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.

Edited By: Tony Thomas

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