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How Old Was Michael Jordan When He Retired

How Old Was Michael Jordan When He Retired?


Michael Jordan’s legendary basketball journey was marked by three significant retirements. Each period of his retirement and return was a reflection not just of his personal life and aspirations, but of broader cultural and sporting contexts. This article aims to unravel the exact ages at which Jordan hung up his iconic sneakers and the myriad tales intertwined with those decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • Michael Jordan retired three times during his illustrious career.
  • Each retirement held its own significance, influenced by both personal and professional factors.
  • Jordan’s career spanned the Chicago Bulls, a brief baseball stint, and the Washington Wizards.

First Retirement in 1993

At the age of 30, after leading the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive NBA championships, Michael Jordan shocked the world by announcing his first retirement. The tragic loss of his father earlier that year weighed heavily on this decision, pushing him to seek solace in a childhood dream—baseball.

Table 1: Michael’s Achievements Before First Retirement

1991NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP
1992NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP
1993NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP

Brief Baseball Career

Jordan’s foray into baseball was met with much anticipation. Playing for the Birmingham Barons, a minor league team, his baseball journey was commendable, though short-lived. He displayed an impressive work ethic, proving that his athletic prowess wasn’t limited to basketball.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

Return to the NBA in 1995

In March 1995, basketball fans worldwide rejoiced as Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA with two simple words: “I’m back.” He returned to lead the Bulls to another three consecutive NBA championships from 1996 to 1998.

Second Retirement in 1999

At 36, after yet another three-peat with the Bulls, Jordan announced his second retirement. His departure was marked by the end of an era with coach Phil Jackson’s exit and other team changes.

Table 2: Notable Moments from 1995-1999

1996NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP
1997NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP
1998NBA ChampionshipFinals MVP, Regular Season MVP

Ownership and Executive Roles

Jordan’s passion for basketball transcended the court. He took on ownership and executive roles, ensuring his influence was felt even off the court.

Washington Wizards Comeback

The allure of the game proved irresistible. In 2001, at the age of 38, Jordan made a comeback with the Washington Wizards. While this phase didn’t bring any championships, it reinforced Jordan’s undying love for the game.

Final Retirement in 2003

In 2003, at the age of 40, the world witnessed Michael Jordan’s final retirement. His departure game against the Philadelphia 76ers was emotional, with tributes pouring in from all corners.

Legacy and Post-Retirement Endeavors

Jordan’s influence extends beyond the basketball court. His brand endorsements, team ownerships, and philanthropic endeavors have solidified his legacy as not just a sports icon, but a global influencer.

Comparative Achievements During Each Phase

Each phase of Jordan’s career brought its own set of triumphs and challenges. From scoring titles to Olympic gold medals, his achievements are unparalleled.

Impact on the NBA and Global Basketball Landscape

Jordan’s influence on basketball is immeasurable. He brought a unique blend of skill, charisma, and marketability that propelled the NBA to global heights. His legacy lives on, inspiring countless athletes worldwide.

Basketball Influence Beyond the Court

While his feats on the hardwood are legendary, Michael Jordan’s reach extends beyond the confines of the basketball court. His Air Jordan brand, a subsidiary of Nike, revolutionized the sneaker industry, becoming a cultural phenomenon and a must-have for basketball enthusiasts and sneakerheads alike.

Jordan’s Philanthropic Ventures

Michael Jordan is also known for his philanthropic endeavors. He has consistently contributed to various causes, with special emphasis on education, healthcare, and community services. One of his recent significant contributions was towards the opening of clinics in Charlotte to provide healthcare to underprivileged communities.

Table 3: Jordan’s Philanthropic Contributions

YearContribution TypeAmount/Details
2017Education$7 million to Charlotte Clinics
2019Health CareClinics in North Carolina
2020Community ServicesDonated $100 million over 10 years to ensure racial equality

The Jordan Brand’s Influence

Air Jordans are not merely sneakers; they’re a statement. The impact of the Jordan brand on popular culture, particularly within the hip-hop community, has been monumental. Every release of a new Air Jordan model is met with anticipation and, often, long lines of eager fans waiting to get their hands on the latest pair.

Final Thoughts

Michael Jordan’s impact on the game of basketball and global culture is unparalleled. From his multiple retirements and returns to the game he loves, to his influence in the sneaker industry and his philanthropic efforts, Jordan remains a significant figure, both in sports and in popular culture. While his playing days may be behind him, his legacy endures, reminding us of the indomitable spirit of a player who always aimed for greatness.


Q: How many times did Michael Jordan retire?
A: Michael Jordan retired three times during his basketball career.

Q: What age was Michael Jordan during his last retirement?
A: Michael Jordan was 40 years old when he retired for the final time in 2003.

Q: Which team did Jordan play for after returning from his second retirement?
A: After his second retirement, Michael Jordan played for the Washington Wizards.

Q: How has Michael Jordan influenced the sneaker industry?
A: Michael Jordan revolutionized the sneaker industry with his Air Jordan brand, turning sneakers into a cultural phenomenon and a symbol of basketball excellence.

More: Michael Jordan – Wikipedia

By Scott Jones