Michael Jordan won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and led the team to two separate three-peat titles. Jordan won a championship ring in nearly half of his 13 seasons with the Bulls.
The iconic player won his first championship in 1991 over Magic Johnson and the Lakers. Jordan followed it up with two straight titles in 1992 over the Blazers and by defeating the Suns in 1993.
Jordan abruptly retired in 1993 and later signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox. The former Bulls guard played briefly for the Birmingham Barons. The Bulls lost to the Knicks in the 1994 playoffs without Jordan, and he decided to return to the NBA in March 1995.
Jordan broke his streak of consecutive championships that season as the Bulls lost to a Magic team led by Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“My biggest challenge is to get this team back to where it was,” Jordan said after being eliminated, per Orlando Sentinel.
Jordan Led the Bulls to Their Second Three-Peat From 1996 to 1998
Jordan would do just that helping the Bulls rattle off another three straight titles from 1996 to 1998. The Bulls defeated the young SuperSonics dynamic duo of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton in 1996. Chicago then topped Utah for back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998. Jordan hit one of the most well-known shots of his career over Bryon Russell to win his sixth title in 1998.
“I let the time tick to where I had the court right where I wanted it,” Jordan told the New York Daily News. “Stockton was on the right side with Steve Kerr so he couldn’t gamble. And as soon as Russell reached he gave me a clear lane. I stopped, pulled up and I had an easy jump shot. Great look and it went in.”
Jordan retired for the second time in 1999 just before the NBA lockout ended, but his retirement was once again short-lived. He sat out three seasons before returning to play again in 2001 for the Wizards. Jordan played two seasons for the Wizards averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game during his short tenure in Washington.
Jordan Was Named the NBA Finals MVP in All 6 Appearances
Not only did Jordan win six rings, but the guard also added an MVP award in each of his NBA Finals appearances. Jordan’s resume is why many consider him the greatest NBA player ever: 14-time all-star, five-time MVP, 11-time All-NBA team, 10-time scoring champion and nine-time All-Defensive team.
Jordan’s final season with the Bulls has once again become a popular topic upon the release of the 10-episode documentary “The Last Dance.” The docu-series primarily focuses on the Bulls 1997-98 season which was the final part of their championship run with Jordan, Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and company.
“It was a trying year, we all were trying to enjoy that year knowing that it was coming to an end,” Jordan reflected on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Phil [Jackson] started off the year by saying, ‘this is the last dance,’ and we played it that way…Mentally it just kind of tugged at you throughout the course of the year, you know, but that this had to come to an end but it also centered our focus to making sure we ended it right,” Jordan continued. “As sad as it sounds at the beginning of the year we tried to rejoice and enjoy the year and finish it off the right way.”