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Michael Jordan Returns to NBA Motivated in The Last Dance

Michael Jordan Returns to NBA on The Last Dance
photo via @espn

In Episode 8 and 9 of ESPN’s The Last Dance, Michael Jordan Returns to NBA after dealing with the death of his father.

As we get closer to the end of the Michael Jordan/Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance,” we as fans are starting to get a deeper understanding as to what makes the superstar tick, but we will get to that in a moment.

Michael Jordan Quits Basketball

The first hour dealt with Jordan quitting basketball after the murder of his father, James Jordan, in 1993. James Jordan was murdered by two 18 years on his way to an event involving his son. Right after that incident as a tribute to his father, Jordan decided to play minor league baseball with the Birmingham Barons. 

Michael Jordan playing minor league baseball before returning to the nba.
Before Michael Jordan returns to NBA, Jordan played baseball for minor league teams.
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Michael Jordan Returns to NBA for 1995-96 Season

Jordan struggled in his baseball career, but as the season went on, he was getting better, but his itch to return to basketball crept back in and eventually rejoined the Bulls.

Unfortunately, Jordan returning to the Bulls didn’t help them reach the NBA Finals in the 95-96 season as the Bulls lost to former Bulls player Horace Grant and the Orlando Magic.

Jordan Returns Energized After Failed Season

Of course, this only fueled Jordan to drive the Bulls back to the NBA Finals the next year against George Karl, Gary Payton, and the Portland Trailblazers. Karl and Jordan knew each other from their days at North Carolina. When Karl didn’t acknowledge Jordan at a restaurant one night during the Finals, that was all Jordan needed to wreck the Trailblazers championship hopes.

Jordan Breaks Down In Tears After Father’s Day Win

The Bulls won the series and wrapped it up on Father’s Day of that year, which had special meaning to Jordan because of him losing his father a few years earlier. 

We saw as fans saw a different side of Jordan after that series, one which was rarely seen until recently with the death of Kobe Bryant. Jordan was emotional and vulnerable. After a Father’s Day win, Jordan broke down and cried on the floor of the team’s locker room.

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Michael Jordan Punches Steve Kerr

Showing emotions didn’t mean Jordan had lost his edge, far from it. Jordan and Bulls teammate Steve Kerr, who is now the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, recalls an incident when he and Jordan got into a fight on the court during practice, and Phil Jackson threw Jordan out of the game.

Jordan punched Kerr in the eye after Kerr punched Jordan in the chest after a hard foul. Jordan later apologized for the incident. Kerr garnered Jordan’s respect because few players stepped to him in those days.

Steve Kerr Talks About Him Losing The Fist Fight With Michael Jordan

Jordan makes no apologies for his aggressive leadership during that time. The teams’ achievements were the result of it. 

Parts 9 & 10 of The Last Dance can be seen on ESPN on May 17th.

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