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Today in Sports History: 3/18 – Michael Jordan Announces Comeback

Today in sports history (1995), Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan announced his comeback from retirement. Jordan retired in 1993 after his first three-peat, partially due to losing interest in basketball and partially due to his father’s murder. Rumors stemmed that David Stern had suspended Jordan for gambling. However, Stern later debunked these claims.

While retired, Jordan tried his hand at baseball, playing for the White Sox affiliate, the Birmingham Barons. Jordan eventually returned to the NBA, sending a press release that just said, “I’m Back.”

Michael Jordan today in sports history
Credit: Sky Sports

Michael Jordan and the Bulls Win Three More Championships

The 1994-95 Chicago Bulls were not the team from a couple of years back, and that was evident. This was proved by the team’s 31-31 record with 20 games remaining. The team immediately got a jolt when Jordan returned. The next day (March 19), Jordan suited up and took the court against the Indiana Pacers. He scored 19 points in this game. Known for his iconic number 23, Jordan elected to wear 45, his baseball number. At the time, this game was the highest Nielsen-rated game of any regular season matchup since 1975.

It almost felt like Jordan did not miss a beat. He sunk a game-winning jump shot against Atlanta four days after he came back. In his fifth game back, Jordan scored 55 points in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. In the playoffs, the Bulls fell to the Orlando Magic. Magic wing Nick Anderson remarked that number 45 does not explode like number 23 once did. This encouraged Jordan to change his number back to 23.

After that playoff series against the Magic, what did Jordan, Scottie Pippen and company do? The three-peated again. Jordan added two more MVPs to his trophy case after this retirement, along with three more Finals MVPs. Michael Jordan was also selected to three more All-NBA First Teams.

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