Twitter In The 90s: Michael Jordan Retires On Twitter, Trolls Pete Rose and Horrace Grant + More [PART TWO]
By: Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire)
His Retirement Press Conference Would Have Been Held On Twitter
As shown in the last episode of Twitter in the 90s, Michael Jordan’s October 6th 1993 press conference announcing his retirement from basketball was an awkward display of professional obligations superseding personal beliefs. You think Michael Jordan wanted to sit in front of the same press he berated for a sizeable portion of that same press conference? Or would he, months after finding out his father was brutally murdered (and amidst rumors that his mother had a hand in it), much rather announce it from the comforts of his own home(or private jet)? What signifies “this was MY decision” more than that?
Remember, Michael Jordan is the same man who sent a two word fax to announce his return to the NBA.
Twitter In The 90s would have caused the retirement announcement to have come a week after Michael Jordan's father passed instead of October 6th, 1993. Why? Jordan had talked seriously about retiring rom basketball since January of 1992 when he told writer David Halberstam and was already receiving minor league baseball offers before winning his third consecutive NBA title. Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf stated that Jordan first made his desires to retire at a "fundraising dinner in Chicago" that Michael Jordan held...IN OCTOBER. With the press conference occurring on October 6, 1993 that would mean Mike gave the Bulls ownership less than a week to adjust to their most important player ever leaving.
He would be cordial and politically correct and on the surface things would seem shocking yet calm:
But behind closed doors(and tweets) the Bulls organization would be in mass panic with one goal: CONVINCE MICHAEL JORDAN TO STAY! But who can convince an alpha male like Michael Jordan who once tried to influence the Bulls to draft Joe Wolf over Scottie Pippen?
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf had one ace in the hole:
But with Twitter in the 90s, we can get an in depth look at Phil Jackson's attempt at convincing Michael Jordan to not retire. Here's how Phil would have REALLY tried to keep the best player he'd ever coach:
You do not convince Michael Jordan of changing his mind by appealing to his altruistic side (and especially not by telling him what his father would have wanted). However, Jackson isnt called Zen Master for no reason and would try one last Jedi Mind Trick to lure Jordan back into the Bulls uniform for the impending 1993-1994 NBA season:
How do you, logical reader, think Jordan responded?
On February 7th, 1994, a day over a month after he retired from the sport he played for the over 15 years, Michael Jordan signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. Before Jordan became a Birmingham Baron, he was the ire of his athletic peers for more reasons than he had (or has) rings. One of the biggest was the perceived preferential treatment Jordan received from referees and the NBA. During a game with Indiana Pacers in February 1993, Jordan punched Reggie Miller in the chin after Miller jabbed him in the back.
Only Reggie Miller was ejected.
Other MLB players thought it was a joke and bad for the game. Coincidentally, it was also a few days after the three year anniversary of the day The National Baseball Hall of Fame declared Pete Rose permanently ineligible as long as he is banned from the MLB.
You know what else would have happened on February 7th 1994? Well, on that day the Chicago Bulls were in the middle of a 5-game stretch of away games, lost the night before to the Phoenix Suns and Horrace Grant only scored 16 points on 8 for 18 shooting in 44 minutes of play. So, it's safe to assume Grant was not in the best of moods following the game and was never a big fan of Michael Jordan (understatement of the decade). The book The Jordan Rules recounts a verbal fight the two engaged in during a flight on June 1st, 1989, following a loss to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals:
Grant: ''Screw you, M.J. All you care about is your points and everyone knows it. You don't care about anything but yourself.''
Jordan: ''You're an idiot. You've screwed up every play we ever ran. You're too stupid to even remember the plays. We ought to get rid of you.''
WAIT...NO WAY! WHY WOULD MICHAEL JORDAN BEEF WITH PUBLIC FIGURES ONLINE? HE'S POLITICALLY CORRECT!
The Michael Jordan who smiled in every Gatorade commercial, moonwalked with Michael Jackson in the Jam video and appeared to never get in trouble was a careful construction by his public relations team. Months after winning his first NBA title, Jordan explained the reasoning for his manufactured image:
Maybe we shouldn't have worked so hard to present a positive image. But our thinking was always that people want to see a positive role model, someone who gets along with everyone. I guess people just got tired of seeing me succeed.
Jordan back in 1993 was a man with everything the chance to say anything during his most trying time and when he's contemplating hanging up not only his basketball jersey but his nice guy image.
FIND OUT HOW A TWITTER ARGUMENT WITH SCOTTIE PIPPEN WILL TRANSFORM SCOTTIE INTO A BETTER PLAYER AND TURN MICHAEL JORDAN INTO A RAPPER ON THE NEXT...
Twitter In The 90s