Michael Jordan was once fined $25,000 by the NBA for changing his jersey number in the middle of the Bulls’ 1995 playoff run.
Jordan caused a worldwide stir as he retired at his peak – at 30 years old – for the first time. The loss of his father in a tragic shooting took his mind off basketball matters. He resolved to try his hand at baseball, as it was his father’s wish that he should pursue a career in it.
Jerry Reinsdorf offered MJ a contract with the Chicago White Sox, but he had to work his way up to the major leagues. After 2 seasons spent in the minor leagues, Jordan was finally done with his baseball experiment. He announced his return to the league with a two-word statement: “I’m back.”
Jordan’s return to the league wasn’t as smooth as he expected, going 7-of-28 in his return game. This would change shortly, as Jordan dropped his famous double-nickel against the Knicks in his fifth game.
Michael Jordan was fined for changing jersey number in 1995 playoffs
Jordan initially came back wearing the jersey number 45. This was because the Bulls had retired his jersey number 23 when he’d initially announced his decision to step away from the game. However, Jordan switched his jersey number back to 23 when the Bulls got off to a bad start against the Magic in the playoffs.
The Bulls were originally fined $25,000 after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Bulls and Orlando Magic. This was for failing to notify the league that Jordan would be switching from No. 45 to 23.
Ironically, losing in the second round saved the Bulls from a larger fine as this latest $100,000 penalty was broken down to $25,000 per game for the four additional games in which Jordan continued to wear his original 23.
In 1995, Michael Jordan was fined $25,000 when he changed jerseys from No. 45 to No. 23 during the playoffs without approval
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) January 21, 2021