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Michael Jordan retirement: How many times did MJ retire in his career?



Michael Jordan is possibly the greatest NBA player of all-time but when and how many times did he retire?

When it comes to basketball, especially the NBA, it would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t know about Michael Jordan.

The former Chicago Bulls star transformed the game during the 90s and well, took the NBA to another level.

Now, the NBA was a huge league in North America at the time. They had their stars and legends such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins and a host of others. However, Jordan’s feats on the court took him and the game to stratospheric levels and the NBA became huge outside America too.

Michael Jordan won six NBA titles in his career
Michael Jordan holds up six fingers for each Bulls championship as he addresses the crowd at the Petrillo Music Shell at Grant Park on June 16, 1998, in Chicago (Imago)

Jordan, for his part, is considered as possibly the greatest ever basketball player, and that is saying something.

His start in the NBA might not have been eye-catching but he transformed the Bulls and won six NBA championships with them.

Jordan was a star when it came to NBA finals. However, even the great ones think about retirement. While most stars retire once in their life and move one, Jordan took a different route. His Airness retired multiple times in his playing career, but that didn’t stop him from creating a few records.

How many times did Michael Jordan retire in his career?

Jordan retired three-times from the NBA for different reasons but he always gave it his all. The American retired twice from the Bulls but won three titles in each stint.

His final retirement came while playing for the Washington Wizards, but Jordan decided to give away all of his salary while playing for them to help the victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack.

Michael Jordan played his final NBA seasons for the Washington Wizards
Michael Jordan, now with the Washington Wizards, smiles during his introduction in his first game back at the United Center, Saturday, January 19, 2002 (Imago)

Jordan was already the part-owner and president of the Wizards when he decided to make his second comeback to basketball.

The American also played for a couple of teams in the minor baseball leagues to continue the dream of his father, who was killed in carjacking incident in 1993.

When did Michael Jordan retire?

MJ’s first retirement came on 6 October 1993 and this was due to him losing the appetite to play basketball. He had won three titles with the Bulls prior to his and his father’s death had also played a part in him taking the decision.

There were rumours that this retirement was a ploy as the NBA wanted to suspend the star for his gambling addiction, however, those stories were rebuffed by all parties.

Jordan then retired in 1999 when the Bulls second three-peat team was being broken up. Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman were all going to or set to leave the Bulls and this is where Jordan made his Washington Wizards executive move.

The American retired from the game a third time in 2003. This was after a couple of seasons with the Wizards and Jordan played his final NBA game on 16 April 2003 in Philadelphia.

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Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!