One of my more frequently asked questions in my head is why Michael Jordan, my long time NBA hero, decided to come out of retirement to play for a weak franchise like the Washington Wizards. For a long time I openly criticized M.J. to my friends by saying it was the most embarrassing and pointless thing he had ever done in his career. I have even come as far as to say he tarnished his reputation by coming back and playing 2 more seasons after an already illustrious career.
Recently I really started to look into this subject, and I must say I have come to change my ideal thoughts on this subject. Yes, some have brought a point up to my attention that Michael's reputation was not tarnished by playing, simply because of the career he had already established, yet for some reason I refuse to believe that is entirely true. I would have rather seen him never come back, but his reasons for coming back were honorable to say the least.
Michael re-joined the NBA after 9/11, indicating he would be donating his entire salary in order to support a relief effort for victims of this horrible tragedy. Very honorable, and shows how much heart a man like Jordan really has. Things like this make me look up to players like Michael even more than what I already did.
Jordan averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game during the 2 year stint in Washington, yet he sold out all home games, and brought Wizard fans to come to appreciate their team. The stats he put up were decent for a 40 year old ball player. They did however hurt his career averages.
He also openly criticized his teammates by saying they were not playing their hardest, and that their work ethics were not what they should be. Very true. The players of todays game seem to have less and less interest in their sport than the athletes of before. Maybe it has alot to do with the change of cultures and traditions, nonetheless it is something that should be considered very sad.
M.J. also mad the All-Star team, mainly for the fact of his large individual fan base. After his retirement he stayed with the Wizards and became a voice in the front office, but an incident involving a trade made Jordan look as though he had "betrayed" the owner and was later dismissed (fired).
The question I still ask myself and others is "Was it worth it?", should he really have came back? I understand he did it for a good cause, yet he could've easily just donated from what he already had. My answer to me is still no, yet I would really appreciate your opinions on this matter. Michael Jordan to me is still the greatest of All-Time, and this 2 year run in Washington might have damaged his career in the sense of future great comparisons between Jordan, and other players such as Kobe and Lebron James.