Michael Jordan, upon winning the 1984 Rookie of the Year award, hilariously vowed to retire if he didn’t play well in the 1985-86 season.
Michael Jordan burst onto the NBA scene after having been one of the best collegiate players in the nation with North Carolina. After having been told by Dean Smith to take his talents to the NBA, Jordan did so and was selected 3rd overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1984.
In his rookie campaign, Michael Jordan put up otherworldly averages of 28.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals a game, all while playing every single one of the 82 games in the 1984-85 NBA season. He also snagged All-Star honors while dragging a lackluster supporting cast to the Playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks however, would make short work of them, winning 1-3.
Regardless of how good Hakeem Olajuwon was in his rookie season, it was clear that Jordan would run away with the ROTY honors at the end of the season. It would be here that ‘his Airness’ would make a promise that would shock Bulls fans, going into the next season.
Michael Jordan joked about retiring after his sophomore season.
Jordan was always quick with the jokes throughout his career and this was evident in his Rookie of the Year speech, where he hilariously claimed he would retire after 2 seasons in the NBA if he did not play as well in his sophomore year.
“I think my year was very experimental for me. I’m very happy that I achieved so much and hopefully next year will be more promising. If not, then maybe I’ll retire after two years.”
This vow by Michael Jordan could’ve come into fruition as the superstar guard broke his left foot early on in the regular season and missed nearly all 82 games. Somehow, with a 30-52 record, the Chicago Bulls qualified for the postseason where they were quickly swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Jordan would however, drop 49 and 63 in Games 1 and 2, respectively.
Though the UNC alum was kidding about retiring that early in his career, he would go on to retire three times in his illustrious career, with the third being his last time on NBA hardwood. He retired after the Bulls’ first 3-peat in 1993 to play minor league baseball and then retired once again after the 1998 championship.
Though Jordan would suit up for a 3rd time in a Wizards uniform, his stint with Washington wasn’t all too glamourous. It’s safe to say that the entirety of the NBA world is grateful that the 6x champ never thought about hanging up the sneakers in merely his second year.