Donning the number 45, a 32-year-old Jordan scored 19 points the following afternoon in a loss to the Pacers in Indiana.
Although a tad rusty, the 6-foot-6, 217 pound MJ guided Chicago to a 13-4 record that enabled the team to advance to the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Jordan and Bulls fans, Chicago was ultimately ousted by the Orlando Magic in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
However, the loss served as motivation and Jordan, along with fellow Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, willed the Bulls to an astounding 72–10 (.878) mark to outdo the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers previous achievement of 69 wins.
Jordan, a five-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) and member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, punctuated the historic campaign by leading the Bulls to a 4-2 triumph over the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals.
Adding to Chicago’s storybook run, Jordan’s fourth crown was particularly gratifying because the squad captured the title on Father’s Day.
A 10-time scoring king, Jordan memorably clutched the game ball on the floor in the locker room and sobbed uncontrollably after winning the first championship since his dad’s homicide.
“His Airness,” a 14-time All-Star and 10-time First Team selection, is hailed on the official league website as, “the greatest basketball player of all time.”
“Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time” and arguably his best decision as a professional athlete occurred nearly two decades past this week.by