Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson developed a great relationship during their years together. The head coach and the superstar were really close, leading the Chicago Bulls to six championships in the 90s and becoming one of the most successful coach-player duos in NBA history.
Not everything was good for them, though, especially with the Detroit Pistons messing up the Bulls' chances to compete for a championship. However, once they figured out the way to beat the 'Bad Boys', things got a lot easier for Jordan and co., who went on to win three straight championships from 1991 through 1993.
After securing that first three-peat, Jordan would make a shocking decision, retiring from the game for the first time after beating Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 Finals. Everybody was shocked when rumors about MJ retiring surfaced, and there was one person that could stop that: Phil Jackson.
Talking in the 2010 documentary, 'Jordan Rides The Bus,' Jackson explained how he learned about the rumors, with people telling him he was the only one who could change Michael's mind. As well know now, he wasn't successful at it.
“Michael showed up and we sat in the chairman's office and talked about it. And he said, 'you know, I just lost the excitement to play.' I said, 'You have to understand that it’s your decision, but you’re depriving so many people who enjoy this sport of the opportunity of such a great amount of pleasure.' This is something you may have to think about for a while. He said, 'I'm pretty determined, and this is it, I'm gonna step back."
In the end, Jordan didn't change his mind and went to play baseball for a year and a half. In 1995, rumors about his potential return started surfacing, and many people were excited to hear that, including some of his rivals and, of course, Phil Jackson.
After his return, Jordan would dominate the league again, winning three more titles in a row before retiring for the second time. He'd come back in the 2000s to join the Washington Wizards before calling it a career once and for all. They had great runs together, and Mike had the utmost respect for Jackson, but when he made up his mind to do something, nobody could make him change his opinion.