LeBron James on Michael Jordan's 1993 Retirement: 'It Didn't Make Sense to Me'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the second half overtime of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Denver. The Lakers won 120-116 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was only eight when Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993, yet he remained as puzzled as everybody else when Jordan abruptly walked away from basketball.

While watching Jordan's retirement covered in The Last Dance, James tweeted he "definitely cried" while watching MJ's press conference.

LeBron James @KingJames

Definitely cried this day. 9 years of age. Just Couldn’t believe it

During an appearance on UNINTERRUPTED's WRTS: After Party, James said Jordan was an "angel sent from heaven" in terms of an idol growing up.

"When you're a nine-year-old kid and you need inspiration from someone, they become your father which I needed, they become your brother, they become your teammate, they become your pastor, they become your superhero," he said. "It's like Batman and Michael Jordan for me when I was growing up. Those were the two best superheroes in the world."

The four-time MVP added that Jordan's decision at the time "didn't make sense to me."

The comments begin at the 11:31 mark.

The Last Dance touched on why Jordan retired after winning his third straight NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1993.

His father, James, was murdered that July, and at the time, some in the media questioned whether Michael's gambling habits were connected to James Jordan's death. The speculation became too much for Jordan, who also viewed his retirement to fulfill his and his father's shared dream of pursuing a baseball career.

Of course, explaining all of that to an eight-year-old LeBron James would've been almost impossible.

Luckily for LeBron, he only had to wait roughly a year-and-a-half to see Jordan back in a Chicago Bulls uniform. The five-time MVP suited up March, 19, 1995, against the Indiana Pacers. Four games later, he dropped 55 points against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

The basketball world quickly returned to normal, as Jordan and the Bulls started another three-peat in 1996.