LeBron James admits he cried after Michael Jordan’s first retirement
The latest episodes of hit docu-series The Last Dance tackled what may arguably be the most shocking decision made by a player who was the best at his game. At the age of 30, then three-time NBA champion Michael Jordan announced his retirement, just months after achieving a rare three-peat with the Chicago Bulls.
Definitely cried this day. 9 years of age. Just Couldn’t believe it
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 11, 2020
For what it’s worth, LeBron James has been open about his admiration for Michael Jordan. MJ was his motivation to make it to the NBA, and the Lakers star has long desired to be like Mike and achieve the same greatness His Airness enjoyed.
LeBron, however, was not the only current player who shared the same sentiment with the Jordan’s first retirement.
I'll never forget when MJ retired that first time..
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 11, 2020
MJ’s idea of pressing the reset button — just relentlessly pursue being the best at another major sport.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) May 11, 2020
Won 3 rings took a break to play another sport than came back in won 3 more rings hahha man if y’all compare this man to anybody else y’all are crazy!!! MJ 🐐
— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) May 11, 2020
When Jordan said that exhaustion from all the scrutiny became a factor for his retirement, many were in disbelief. Fans across the nation were understandably shocked, even going so far as to formulate various conspiracy theories.
Those who were close to him, however, understood. In a previous The Last Dance episode, MJ’s former Chicago Bulls teammate John Paxson noted that seeing him win his third consecutive title felt like “relief rather than true joy.”
John Paxson on the 3rd title: "Being around him, there was more like relief than true joy."
MJ: "Physically I was exhausted, but mentally I was way past exhausted. When you try to do something repetitively, you lose some of the hunger, and some of the edge."
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 4, 2020
It was all good in the end, however. Barely two years had passed when the Chicago Bulls finally got back their superstar. Soon after, the legendary team found themselves with another three-peat.
After all, nobody can forget those two words that sent immediate shockwaves across the sports world, and gave back the NBA its most electrifying player: “I’m back.”