Michael Jordan was the face of the NBA in the 1990’s, After winning three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls from 1991-1993, Jordan mysteriously retired for the first time in October of 1993, and over the years fans have speculated that the NBA suspended Michael Jordan due to his gambling addiction.
There are many reasons why Michael Jordan willingly retired from the NBA. One major reason that Jordan announced was that he was just not satisfied with the game anymore, Jordan felt like he had accomplished everything there was in the game. He was a three time NBA champion, a three time Most Valuable Player of the year, and he had many more accolades related to scoring and defense. In the early 90’s and after his first retirement, Jordan was concidered the most dominant player in the league. And he was the NBA’s most marketable player by appearing in many commercials and having his own shoe line.
So this is the part where people start to believe the NBA got involved. Since Michael Jordan was the face of the NBA he had to be a good moral to viewers and others that he inspired. Apparently Michael Jordan was caught by the IRS when he wrote out a $57,000 check to a cocaine trafficker named James Bouler in 1991. This caught the eye of the bank and the media. Jordan later revealed that the money was used to pay off a gambling debt to Bouler. But if you think that Jordan would learn his lesson you are wrong. It was also found that $108,000 checks were found in the briefcase of Eddie Dow. These checks were of course written out by none other than Michael Jordan.
This may look like a bad representation of one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But the NBA never declared that gambling by players or staff was illegal. The only illegal gambling was if players, coaches, or referees rigged games. Fortunately Michael never fell into that crime. Also one month after the Bulls won the NBA championship in 1993, James Jordan was shot and killed. This left Michael Jordan devastated due to the fact that James Jordan was his father and he was the person to bring basketball into his life. This led to Michael Jordan feeling lonely due to the fact that he doesn’t have a mentor any more. So it is very reasonable that Michael Jordan may have just retired because of his fathers death and because he may have been depressed at that time. Now that may not be the only reason why Jordan retired for the first time, but if you still think that the NBA suspended him then you are still false because NBA Commissioner David Stern clearly rejected the theory in an interview. Stern said “Michael Jordan did nothing wrong, and I resent any implications on the contrary.”
In conclusion, the NBA did not suspend Michael Jordan from participating in any games, and there were in fact various reasons and deep explanations on why Michael Jordan did not get suspended by the NBA.
Landon Santiago – Marist High School – DMSF Class of 2027