Former Teammate Exposes 39 Year Old Michael Jordan’s 7th Championship Ring Plans Amid a Booming Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal Era

Published 01/19/2023, 11:30 AM EST
Image Courtesy – Imago

In the 90s, NBA legend Michael Jordan had effectively become one of the most recognized athletes who represented the sport of basketball. Every Chicago Bulls game had millions of spectators chanting His Airness’ name, whether in the arena or in front of a TV. MJ had a successful run until he chose to retire for the second time in 1998 after winning his sixth NBA championship. However, Jordan returned from his second retirement as well, only to be disappointed when things didn’t turn out the way he had wished.

Three years after Michael Jordan announced his second retirement, he made a comeback by joining the Washington Wizards in 2001. Under Jordan’s leadership, the Wizards never made it to the playoffs.

Michael Jordan attempted to rise to the top again

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When Michael Jordan joined the Washington Wizards, he was not just their player but also the president of basketball operations, a post he had filled in 2000. Jordan was criticized a lot when he used the Wizards’ first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft to acquire Kwame Brown. This happened because, as a No. 1 draft pick, Brown failed to live up to people’s expectations, averaging only 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in his rookie year.

In an episode of The Pivot Podcast, Brown explained the reason behind his poor performance. He shared that he did not only dominate his high school, but dominated in the league as well. Most of this was during practice games, but Brown added that the videos of those practices would prove his claims. Based on his reply, the host then asked what would go wrong during the games. In response, Brown blamed the ‘politics’ for his poor on-court performances.

“You have a coach in Doug Collins who doesn’t believe in playing young players. Michael doesn’t either and Michael’s last hurrah. Michael wanted to win the championship. In his mind, he felt that if he can get to the playoffs at 39 years old, he can win a championship.”

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Brown further added that the Wizards wanted to trade him and acquire 2x NBA All-Star Elton Brandon because both Collins and Jordan wanted adult and experienced players instead of the younger rising stars. Little did Jordan know that it was not the same as the 90s era anymore.

The ‘Black Mamba’ and the ‘Big Aristotle’ took charge

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While the Chicago Bulls ruled the 90s, the 2000s saw the rise of the Los Angeles Lakers courtesy of former NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers had laid mostly dormant after winning their last NBA championship in 1988.

Following MJ’s departure from the league, the momentum shifted and NBA fans were focusing more on the unlikely pairing of the Black Mamba and the Big Aristotle.

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Although the duo had their differences, they always managed to deliver what was expected of them on the court. While Jordan was trying to build a strong team to win his seventh ring, Kobe and Shaq were already on their way to winning their first-ever and the franchise’s second three-peat.

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Siyari Debbarma

575 articles

Siyari Debbarma is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering from Abascus Institute of Engineering and Management. She previously interned at the Y-East Organization as a content writer.

Edited By: Gideon Mathson

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