In the summer of 1993, Michael Jordan held a press conference to let the world know that he would be retiring from the game of basketball. Jordan decided after nine seasons in the league, he wanted to challenge himself in other areas.
“I think everyone knows exactly what the circumstances are in terms of my decision not to play the game of basketball in the NBA. That doesn’t mean I’m going to play basketball somewhere else. Still, I have talked to all my confidants, my family, my friends, and as Jerry [Reinsdorf] just informed you to the organization, and I have even talked to David Stern as of yesterday and even today. I am very solid with my decision not to play the game of basketball in the NBA,” said Jordan.
“The reason being I heard a lot of different speculations my reasons for not playing, but I have always stressed to the people that know me and the media that has followed me. When I lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it is time for me to move away from the game of basketball. It’s not because I don’t love the game I love the game of basketball I always will,” Jordan shared in 1993. “I just fell at this particular time in my career I have reached the pinnacle of my career. I have achieved a lot in a short amount of time if you want to call it short I just don’t have anything else to prove to myself.”
In a recent interview with Večernji List, Jordan’s former teammate Tony Kukoč revealed the death of his father was the last draw.
“He [Jordan] said he’d had enough, that he wasn’t practicing with the same fire as he did before. Then his father got murdered, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Kukoč. “I was sitting there with players I had just met, and they were all crying. Suddenly, I was crying as well.”
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Pistons Great Isiah Thomas Shares who was Supposed to be Jordan’s Successor After he Retired
In 1994, the Detriot Pistons selected Grant Hill with the third pick in the 1994 draft out of Duke University. Hill would go on to finish the season along with Jason Kidd as Co-Rookie of the Year in 1995. If you are unfamiliar with Hall of Famer Grant Hill’s game before all the leg injuries, he was a high flyer like Jordan just a couple of inches taller.
During an episode of NBA TV’s Open Court, Isiah Thomas revealed after Jordan retired in 1993 and eventually decided to play baseball passed the mantle sort of speak was passed down to Hill.
“Let’s acknowledge on the real, who this guy [Grant Hill] really is sitting here because when [Michael] Jordan was retiring and Grant Hill was coming in the league. We were talking about passing the mantle to you,” said Thomas. “So, it is not like Scottie Pippen could carry the league. Jordan carried the league, and we are talking about a guy like yourself carrying the league. So, you can’t sit there and say, oh, well, Scottie.”