Michael Jordan had a rough final season in the NBA with the Wizards. Despite playing all 82 games, he had to constantly get treatment on his knees.
Jordan’s return with the Wizards was as jarring an image as any we’ve seen. The greatest of all time donning a jersey other than that of the Chicago Bulls seemed impossible. Till it came to fruition.
Jordan was a member of the front office that drafted Kwame Brown with the first overall pick. He wasn’t satisfied with what he saw, and he decided to don the shoes one final time to lead the Wizards to the playoffs.
Before the All Star Break in 2001-02, Jordan seemed to have brought his team back on track. They were above .500 and slated to make the playoffs at that rate when MJ went down with a torn cartillage. This put paid to their chances of making the postseason.
Wizards teammate narrates how much pain and sacrifice Michael Jordan made
Etan Thomas, who played alongside Jordan on the Wizards, spoke about his injury situation on the Slate Podcast:
“He would have to get his knee drained and it was like the grossest thing that I’ve ever seen. Like his knee would swell up like the Elephant Man. And then they would come in with this long needle and drain it and there would be like this black tar goo stuff that would come out. It was disgusting.”
After “The Last Dance”: Former Syracuse star Etan Thomas recalls his two years with Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards https://t.co/Vr6wJIGU2Q
— Sébastien AUDOUX (@SebastienAudoux) May 22, 2020
“And so I don’t even know if he was supposed to even be playing for some of those times. I remember one time we’re sitting in the locker room and … I looked over at him and I asked him. I was like, ‘Why are you even doing this?’ Like, honestly, I was like, ‘You don’t have anything to prove. You’re MJ!’ He didn’t really answer, but I was serious. I was like, what are you even playing for?”