With the Michael Jordan 10-part documentary The Last Dance recently releasing its first two episodes this past Sunday, the public's interest of the NBA legend has grown exponentially. One of the most notable moments of Jordan's career is when he retired for the first time prior to the 1993-94 season in order to pursue baseball only to return to the Chicago Bulls the next season.
Golden State Warriors head coach and Jordan's former Bulls teammate Steve Kerr spoke with ESPN's Rachel Nichols on The Jump regarding Jordan's controversial move to baseball and the real reason behind it.
“I will always maintain that the reason he went and played baseball was because he was fried emotionally from the scrutiny that really only he felt.” Kerr said on Wednesday. “Just watching him, by the time I got there, watching the life that he led compared to everybody else — it was insane.”
Always a smart conversation with @SteveKerr on #TheJump – he told us why he thinks MJ really left to play baseball, about Scottie's battles with Jerry Krause & if the Warriors (who already have the best odds for the No. 1 pick) would rather call this season/start fresh next year pic.twitter.com/8CRtumXBHm
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 21, 2020
Kerr joined the Bulls in 1993 as a free agent and spent the next five seasons in Chicago as a pivotal piece to their many championship runs. Kerr was a sharpshooter off the bench for the Jordan-led Bulls and, in five seasons, the current Warriors coach averaged 8.2 points and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 47.9 percent from deep.
“I think he had had enough and just stepped away for a little while and then came back and was ready to roll,” Kerr added.
Jordan's baseball career was much less successful than his basketball one as he spent his one season with the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Jordan would bat just .202 with 114 strikeouts in his season with the Barons.