After winning his third-straight championship back in 1993, Michael Jordan infamously shocked the world by announcing his departure from the game of basketball. He stated that he wanted to go play baseball which was the sport he fell in love with growing up. Of course, this didn’t exactly work out for him as his stats were pretty subpar. In fact, just a year and a half later, he decided to come back and rejoined the Chicago Bulls where he won three more championships.
There have been numerous theories as to why Jordan really decided to leave basketball. Some believe his gambling problem led to an indefinite suspension from NBA commissioner David Stern and that both of them used baseball as a cover for what was really going on. While these claims have been denied over the years, many still try to push that narrative. Today on Undisputed, that’s exactly what Skip Bayless did as he spoke on his experiences around the 98′ Bulls.
“What I always heard in my year in Chicago around the ’98 Bulls was that Jordan’s break from basketball had a lot to do with gambling. Even the appearance of it got so bad that David Stern, who denied this repeatedly, encouraged Michael to step away,” Bayless explained.
Bayless has been known for his hot takes in the past but as a huge MJ fan, it’s far-fetched to think Bayless is trying to do harm to Jordan’s legacy. It is quite possible that Bayless truly believes this was the cause for Jordan’s departure although until MJ says it for sure, we will never really know.