No matter what you believe about Michael Jordan's first retirement in 1993, it was a surprising and unprecedented move. For a superstar to walk away from the game at the height of his powers was just unheard of.
But perhaps even more shocking was MJ's decision to play baseball in his time off. It was apparently a way for MJ to honor his father, but MJ himself also played the sport as a kid growing up.
While it didn't last long, Jordan joining the baseball realm came at a huge risk to his basketball game. According to Jordan’s long-time trainer Tim Grover, he told Mike back in 1993 that baseball training wasn’t going to be good for his basketball skills.
(via The Last Dance)
“The workouts are going to be totally different,” Tim Grover told Michael Jordan. “Two totally different methods of training your body and muscles. This is going to be detrimental to your basketball career.”
Upon MJ's return in 1995, he averaged 26.9 points per game, his lowest mark since his sophomore season. Additionally, his Bulls didn't fare too well either, as they lost to the Orlando Magic in the second round of the postseason. It's fair to say he was a bit slow when he came back, but considering everything -- it was to be expected.
Fortunately, he was able to return to his form the following year and ended up winning three more titles before he left the Bulls for good.
As for his short-lived baseball career, it clearly wasn't for him. In 127 games with the Birmingham Barons, he hit a .202, knocked just three home runs, and had 51 RBIs.