‘Throwback Thursday’ remembers Michael Jordan’s second Bulls’ retirement

WGN News Now

CHICAGO – It’s fitting that this “Throwback Thursday” would feature the 23rd anniversary of a major moment for No. 23.

This one, however, isn’t quite as pleasant for Bulls’ fans to remember as others when it comes to Michael Jordan in a Bulls.

It was on January 13, 1999, 23 years ago on Thursday, that Michael Jordan retired from basketball for a second time at a heavily attended news conference at the United Center. Joined by Bulls management, players, and late NBA commissioner David Stern, the superstar announced that he believed it was time for him to walk away from the game after winning another three championships in Chicago.

As he did in his first retirement in October of 1993, Jordan’s reasons for leaving was about feeling some mental exhaustion after a taxing 1997-1998 season that was documented in the ESPN film “The Last Dance” in 2020.

While many assumed that it was the case when the team parted ways with head coach Phil Jackson, Jordan’s retirement officially brought an end to the Bulls dynasty in which they won six championships in eight seasons. For the guard, it appeared to be the end of a storied career in which he helped the Bulls to all those championships while winning five regular season MVPs and six in the finals.

Of course, Jordan would have one more stint on the court after this, returning to the floor with the Washington Wizards in 2001. He’d play for two seasons before finally retiring for good in 2003.

Larry Hawley made this moment the focus of “Throwback Thursday” on WGN News Now this week, and you can watch that segment in the video above.

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