Michael Jordan '93 Retirement PODs

Some questions after viewing The Last Dance...
  • James Jordan isn't murdered. This is the big one. Without his father's tragic passing, MJ would not have retired as quickly as he did. Certainly retirement was on his mind and he was due for a long break after the first three-peat. But he wouldn't have left as abruptly in the middle of the season, and he might not have spent his retirement playing baseball- at least, not as urgently- if it wasn't one of the last things he said to his dad. So when might have been a more natural time for him to retire, if he does? And what does he end up doing? Does he take up pro golf? Pro gambling?

  • The Bulls win the '93-'94 championship without Jordan. Does this mean Air Jordan is expendable, even a little bit? Of course not. But this would establish the Bulls as a true dynasty that doesn't require his presence, and instead begin to rally around Scottie Pippen as their centerpiece. Which means that if and when MJ does return to basketball, the team might have different dynamics, even with Phil Jackson at helm and most of the core players. And would Scottie want to be #2 again? Either way, does this mean he gets paid more?

  • Michael Jordan continues playing baseball past '94. The way the documentary frames it, he refused to cross picket lines during the MLB strike and a chance practice game with B.J. Armstrong reignited his desire to play for the Bulls and so he left retirement. But had the players strike never happened, he probably would have been 100% focused on his new sporting career, I would imagine. So say the strike doesn't happen. How long he keep playing? Does he make it into the majors? How high could have have reached?
And a couple of minor PODs:
  • Horace Grant doesn't leave for Orlando Magic. The show frames the reason why '94-'95 was so rough for the Bulls was because Grant's departure. So what if he doesn't? Certainly Jordan's old teammates would want him back just as much if he still goes through his change of heart, but what if they weren't playing as poorly without him that year? Maybe he would have rejoined the following season?

  • Scottie Pippen doesn't refuse to play the final seconds of Game 3 against the Knicks. The whole incident is depicted as Pippen's big heel turn, when the normally mild-mannered player digs into selfishness and puts the entire team in jeopardy. But I just felt bad for Kukoč, who's just like this international student swept up in the ego and drama of the cool kids' clique for the second time- the first being the '92 Olympics. Glad he made that shot. But what if Pippen had gone along in '94? How would that change his reputation and would that make a difference on his career, if at all?
 
Some questions after viewing The Last Dance...

  • Michael Jordan continues playing baseball past '94. The way the documentary frames it, he refused to cross picket lines during the MLB strike and a chance practice game with B.J. Armstrong reignited his desire to play for the Bulls and so he left retirement. But had the players strike never happened, he probably would have been 100% focused on his new sporting career, I would imagine. So say the strike doesn't happen. How long he keep playing? Does he make it into the majors? How high could have have reached?
https://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/michael-jordan-baseball-career-white-sox/1lir1a7ewr0e91okm55a0njkr6 According to that is debatable that he could have reached the majors. But if he did he would not be the superstar in baseball that he was in basketball.
 
The Bulls win the '93-'94 championship without Jordan. Does this mean Air Jordan is expendable, even a little bit? Of course not. But this would establish the Bulls as a true dynasty that doesn't require his presence, and instead begin to rally around Scottie Pippen as their centerpiece. Which means that if and when MJ does return to basketball, the team might have different dynamics, even with Phil Jackson at helm and most of the core players. And would Scottie want to be #2 again? Either way, does this mean he gets paid more?
If they win the title without Jordan, that trade with Seattle that almost happened (Kemp for Pippen) goes through, and Horace still goes to Florida (I think that there's a decent chance that he goes no matter what. I heard that he didn't really like Phil Jackson, and with no MJ around, he definitely goes), MJ probably never goes back to Chicago.

He probably stays with baseball a little longer, but if that above article is right, and he doesn't reach the majors, he returns to the NBA (although not to the Bulls. Maybe he goes to Seattle to play with The Glove and Pippen).
 
You forgot the big one: That the rumors of MJ being told to sit out for betting on games are true. His gambling addiction is infamous... he could have easily been the Pete Rose of basketball.
 
Why would Pippen leave the Bulls if they win the championship with him as the new leader?
His contract could have been a reason.

You forgot the big one: That the rumors of MJ being told to sit out for betting on games are true. His gambling addiction is infamous... he could have easily been the Pete Rose of basketball.
They denied that on The Last Dance, but I disagree with them.
 
His contract could have been a reason.



They denied that on The Last Dance, but I disagree with them.
Of course they denied that on The Last Dance. It was a glorified showcase of MJ's best hits, not a proper documentary.

Hell, there may even be proof his dad was murdered over his gambling debts.
 
Of course they denied that on The Last Dance. It was a glorified showcase of MJ's best hits, not a proper documentary.

Hell, there may even be proof his dad was murdered over his gambling debts.
That is a disgusting line of thought, even by my standards, did MJBK have gambling issues? yes, but that, Dear GOD.
 
Last edited:
The Last Dance was likely a puff piece in many ways that erred on the side of Jordan, such as him denying that he got Isiah Thomas barred from the Dream Team, but the scenario presented regarding retirement certainly feels compelling. Why would David Stern, or any other NBA bigwig, want to lower all of the attention, excitement, and profits that Michael Jordan and the Bulls were bringing in at his height? That's just not good business. No way would they suspend him for a full season.

You forgot the big one: That the rumors of MJ being told to sit out for betting on games are true. His gambling addiction is infamous... he could have easily been the Pete Rose of basketball.
Being suspended for specific games, sure that seems more reasonable. Not sure how the NBA handles that. And is the fear that a player betting on his own games might be throwing games? Fortunately, MJ's insane competitive spirit would contravene that, unless for some reason he wanted to win a bet more than he wanted to win at basketball, which seems the wrong order of priorities for him.
 
That is a disgusting line of thought, even by my standards, did MJBK have gambling issues? yes, but that, Dear GOD.
Again, it's just something tossed around a lot... and unlike the possibility that Jordan was told to sit out a season or two over gambling, which there is a ton of proof for, that one is pretty much just conjecture. Doesn't help that the guys who killed his dad keep getting the case re-opened... they keep trying to pin the other guy as the shooter.

The Last Dance was likely a puff piece in many ways that erred on the side of Jordan, such as him denying that he got Isiah Thomas barred from the Dream Team, but the scenario presented regarding retirement certainly feels compelling. Why would David Stern, or any other NBA bigwig, want to lower all of the attention, excitement, and profits that Michael Jordan and the Bulls were bringing in at his height? That's just not good business. No way would they suspend him for a full season.

Being suspended for specific games, sure that seems more reasonable. Not sure how the NBA handles that. And is the fear that a player betting on his own games might be throwing games? Fortunately, MJ's insane competitive spirit would contravene that, unless for some reason he wanted to win a bet more than he wanted to win at basketball, which seems the wrong order of priorities for him.
And you hit on the main reason the NBA didn't go the route of the MLB... way too much money to be made, and it was better to let Jordan sit out a year than have the biggest name in the sport taken to the cleaners.

The Last Dance was a total puff peice too.
 
Top