Michael Jordan was a legend of the game, even during his playing days. Jordan was such a massively transcendent figure for the sport, and his impact on the NBA, and the world in general, is still felt to this day. So when the world had to say goodbye to Michael Jordan for the last time, it was sure to be an emotional event.
Michael Jordan had already gone into (and come out of) retirement twice by the time 2003 came around. The first time was in 1993, when he retired after winning his third NBA championship, and the death of his father, and went away to pursue professional baseball. He returned to the Bulls midseason in 1995.
After winning three more NBA championships between 1995 and 1998, Jordan once again retired. This time, it appeared to be for good. Jordan refused to play for any other coach than Phil Jackson in Chicago, and then-GM Jerry Krause was adamant about starting a rebuild with a new head coach.
In 2001, MJ came out of retirement, to play for the Washington Wizards. Jordan had hired his former head coach Doug Collins, which suggested that he was going to come back. This return was more ceremonial than anything else, as Jordan was 38 years old, and could not play at the level he once did.
His two seasons in Washington were the first time he missed the NBA playoffs. But when he announced his intention to retire after the 2002-03 season, everyone knew it was the last time they would see MJ. Jordan was going to be 40 at the end of the season, and there was no way he could keep going.
So when the 2003 NBA All-Star game rolled around, it was going to be a night dedicated to Michael Jorda. During the half-time show, legendary singer Mariah Carey came out to perform, and paid tribute to Michael Jordan in multiple ways; first, wearing a blue dress out of Jordan's blue Washington Wizards jersey.
Next, she performed a medley of songs, including her song 'Hero', as a tribute to Michael Jordan. Carey, who is considered one of the most iconic musicians of all time, delivered a hauntingly beautiful performance, and even brought 'His Airness' to tears, understanding the gravity of the occasion.
Jordan then greeted Mariah Carey, after getting very emotional at her performance and the occasion of his final All-Star game. It was a big night for MJ, the last time he would be on the big stage of the NBA All-Star game.
Jordan's last All-Star game was rife with storylines. The 2003 All-Star game is considered one of the best ever, and it had players like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett playing some of the best basketball of their respective careers. But the biggest story was the farewell for the best to ever do it; Michael Jordan.