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Michael Jordan fires back at rumor that he was forced to retire early due to gambling

Michael Jordan, Bulls, The Last Dance

When Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan shockingly retired from the NBA in 1993, there were rumors that the NBA had forced him to because of his gambling issues.

However, according to Jordan himself, that wasn’t true in the slightest bit.

“I didn’t retire because someone kicked me out or they suspended me for a year and a half,” Michael Jordan said in the latest installment of The Last Dance.

“That is not true… I needed a break, my father just passed. And I retired with the notion that I wasn’t going to come back.”

Jordan retired after winning his third consecutive ring. His father was tragically murdered in June of 1993 shortly after the Bulls defeated the Phoenix Suns in the Finals.

The Bulls superstar decided he was going to stop playing basketball and take up baseball as his next challenge.

MJ played minor league baseball for a year. He started to get the itch of playing basketball again though and wound up coming back to the Bulls during the 1994-95 season. Jordan played 17 games to finish out the campaign, averaging 26.9 points.

However, His Airness and the Bulls were humbled by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 1995 playoffs. Penny Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal and the Magic took out Jordan and Chicago in six games. MJ averaged 31.0 points in the series but he also had 24 turnovers overall.

In the summer of 1995, Jordan still gambled here and there. But for the most part, he was training and focused on winning his fourth championship.

Michael Jordan and the Bulls ended up winning three rings in a row after the 1995 playoffs.