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In 1997 Michael Jordan Said He Would Retire If The Bulls Traded Scottie Pippen Or Fired Phil Jackson

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Michael Jordan was not the kind of guy you wanted to piss out. Not only because he was the best player on earth, the face of the league and the heart and soul of the Chicago Bulls, but because he was also a man of his word.

If you wanted Michael to do something, you just had to tell him he wasn't capable of doing it. But if he promised you one thing, he was going to live and die by his word, even if that meant retiring from the game he loved so much.

That's exactly what happened when Jerry Krause announced that Phil Jackson wasn't going to continue as the Chicago Bulls' coach regardless of the outcome of the 1997-98 season, and openly admitted that Scottie Pippen was on the trade block.

Jordan was furious about the news and even addressed some campers back in 1997 to promise he would retire if they traded Scottie or fired Phil Jackson. Talking without the slightest hesitation.

"I'll retire if they trade Scottie Pippen. (...) Jerry Krause announced on national tv that this is Phil Jackson's last year as coach. (...) If that's true and it's Phil Jackson's last year, then it's my last year," Jordan told the campers.

Needless to say, Michael stood by his word and announced his second retirement when Krause didn't extend Phil Jackson's contract, even though they didn't trade Pippen midseason. Perhaps Krause thought Jordan was bluffing, but the GOAT always delivered what he promised.

It's crazy to think that Jordan retired for three seasons and then came back to average 22.9 and 20.0 at age 38 and 39. Perhaps, if Krause would've kept Jackson, the Bulls could've competed at the highest level for another five seasons.

Gladly for us, Jackson's departure paved the way for him to make it to the Los Angeles Lakers and give us another dynasty, but it's sad to think the Bulls could've had another Championship run in them.