Michael Jordan is one of the greatest to lace ’em up.
A six-time NBA Champion as a member of the iconic Chicago Bulls, guided by head coach, Phil Jackson, Jordan teamed up with Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and solid role players Steve Kerr, Ron Harper and Horace Grant and made history.
Jordan retired twice in career. In his first retirement tour after the Bulls won their first three-peat in 1993, MJ would end up playing baseball and later returned to hoops.
When MJ returned,he sent a two-word fax that read: “I’m Back.”
Jordan returned wearing No.45 instead of No. 23. What’s even more iconic is that before deciding to return, His Airness apparently worked out with the Golden State Warriors before practicing with the Bulls and announcing his return.
No these aren’t the Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green Warriors.
For those keeping score at home: The ’94-95 Warriors were coached by Don Nelson and had Chris Webber, Latrell Sprewell and Chris Mullin on their team.
Today, NBC Sports premiered their Sports Uncovered Podcast which dives into the phenomenon of MJ working out with the Warriors. Sports Uncovered is the newest podcast from NBC Sports, will shine a fresh light on the most unforgettable moments in sports.
The first episode, appropriately titled “I’m Back,” was produced by Ryan McGuffey and Tony Gill of NBC Sports Chicago. Episode one details MJ’s return to basketball and the famous “I’m Back” fax, his workout with the Warriors to test himself against young stars and the next generation before working out with the Bulls and ultimately, un-retiring.
“This is an exciting new venture for NBC Sports and being the the 1st episode up is a lot of pressure,” producer, Tony Gill told me Wednesday evening via text message. “But it feels right to get the entire series jumping off right and I’m glad to be apart of something the big and this cool.”
According to a release from NBC Sports: Michael Jordan secretly worked out with the Warriors over a span of 2-3 days. Michael Jordan used those workouts to test his readiness to return against the next generation.
Longtime Bulls photographer Bill Smith and Ahmad Rashad were the only two people inside Michael Jordan’s private locker room before his first game back against the Pacers and they detail that private, pre-game scene. The Bulls carried a 23 jersey everywhere while Jordan was wearing 45, just in case.
In the pre-released screener, NBA legend Tim Hardaway noted that he knew MJ was coming back. “We knew he was coming back then,” said the Chicago Native and former Golden State Warrior.
“He just took over our practice, just took over our practice. He got five guys that wasn’t playing that much, and he said ‘us seven will play you all’s seven in a scrimmage’, and it was like he never left.”
Hardaway’s Warriors teammate, Chris Mullin is in agreement. “I always thought he was coming back,” he said.
“But a day like that… he was just so fit, so it wasn’t a physical thing, but seeing him on the basketball court and playing against, Sprewell was a really good player and he was in midseason form, for him to do that, I thought it’s just a matter of time.”
Guests on the first episode of today’s released podcast includes: Steve Kerr, a teammate of MJ’s who is now the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James, seven-time NBA champ Robert Horry and Chicago Bulls legend Toni Kukoc and Horace Grant.