“I’m Going to Shock the World”: Michael Jordan Wanted to Retire from NBA Even Before 1993 But Had Strong Reasons Not to

Published 05/11/2020, 5:21 PM EDT

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The world of basketball came to a halt on the October 6th, 1993. Michael Jordan, who had just won the NBA title with the Chicago Bulls a few months back, announced his retirement from the NBA. Though all this has been viewed and read upon, did MJ actually have plans of retiring much earlier?

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The career-goal of MJ, when he signed with the Bulls, was to win them an NBA championship. Fourteen years later, he signed off with six titles, along with millions of fans to his name. However, in between these fourteen years, he had to endure a lot of tension. From his first retirement to his gambling accusations, ‘His Airness’ was always in the thick of the media.

Citing a sudden loss of desire to play the game, Michael Jordan parted ways with the Chicago Bulls in 1993. He then moved on to pursue a career in baseball to fulfill the dreams of his father. He loved the sport and enjoyed playing it as a kid. But if not 1993, was MJ close to leaving the NBA a year before?

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Michael Jordan contemplated quitting basketball as early as 1992

When Jordan won his first championship, his father wanted him to quit the sport. After conquering what he set out to achieve, he thought about quitting, but he had bigger dreams in the NBA.

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In an old interview with Mark Vancil, MJ got his words straight when he spoke about his retirement plans. The six-time champion revealed that he had plans to retire as early as the summer of 1992. But certain things held him back, and he explained the reasons.

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Here’s how the GOAT put it in his words. “I’m going to shock the world. I’m going to quit and play baseball. Well, I’d do it now except Bird and Magic never won 3 in-a-row. And I got to do the Olympics. But if it wasn’t for that, I’d be playing [baseball] this summer.”

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Phew. That was a close one. Destiny won the battle when MJ fancied baseball. It seems strange, pursuing another sport when he was already the king of one. But that was Michael Jordan. He was never shy of challenges. Though he enjoyed no success with baseball, he was never the one to back down. 

Now, we will not get into what would have happened if MJ had retired in 1992. It opens up room for yet another meaningless debate. Meanwhile, we can all be glad that it never happened, as we would have never got to see the Bulls’ first 3-peat or the ‘Dream Team’ in all its glory.

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Written by:

Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.
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