Episodes 7 and 8 of The Last Dance aired on ESPN on Sunday and it took a look at Michael Jordan retiring from the NBA for the first time and moving on to baseball. Jordan announced his retirement in 1993 in front of hundreds of media members. Footage of retirement was shown on the seventh episode of The Last Dance and LeBron James remembers the day very well. The Los Angeles Lakers star went to Twitter and wrote he "definitely cried" when he heard the news of Jordan retiring. With James being 9 years old at the time, he looked up to Jordan who was coming off of his third NBA Championship.
"I'm very solid with my decision of not playing the game of basketball in the NBA," Jordan said at his press conference at the time. "The reason being — I've heard a lot of different speculation about my reasons for not playing — but I've always stressed to people that have known me and the media that has followed me that when I lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it's time for me to move away from the game of basketball."
Definitely cried this day. 9 years of age. Just Couldn’t believe it— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 11, 2020
Jordan continued: "It's not because I don't love the game. I love the game of basketball. I always will. I just feel that, at this particular time in my career, I have reached the pinnacle of my career. I have achieved a lot in that short amount of time, if you want to call it short. But I just feel that I don't have anything else for myself to prove."
Jordan went on to sign a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox but returned to basketball in 1995. The Bulls reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals and lost to the Orlando Magic in six games. Jordan spent the entire offseason getting back into shape and led the Bulls to three consecutive NBA titles.
Along with not having anything else to prove, Jordan was also dealing with the death of his father, who was shot and killed while sleeping in his car. One of the last conversations Jordan had with his father was about playing baseball. After Jordan won his sixth NBA Championship, he retired again in 1999. However, Jordan returned to the league in 2001, signing a contract with the Washington Wizards. Jordan played his final NBA game on April 16, 2003. A few months later, James was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and is looking to match Jordan's career, winning three NBA Championships, three NBA Finals MVP awards and four MVP trophies.