Michael Jordan‘s Bulls career had a storybook ending. In Game 6 of the 1998 Finals against the Utah Jazz, he knocked down the game-winning shot over Bryon Russell to win his third straight championship and his sixth title overall for his career. It was the cherry on top for a man who most consider the greatest basketball player of all time.
Jordan could’ve easily lived out the rest of his days resting on the laurels of his innumerable achievements, but in 2001, he let his competitive myopia get the better of him and came out of retirement to play for the then-Washington Wizards for another two seasons. It’s a chapter of his story that many die-hard MJ fans would like to forget, and that apparently includes Jordan himself.
Former NFL legend Ray Lewis made an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak for Yourself” on Friday and claimed that Jordan told him personally that playing for the Wizards was his only regret.
The widespread backlash over Jordan’s Wizards days has been somewhat blown out of proportion in recent years. Granted, Washington wasn’t a good team at the time, but the idea that Jordan was old and washed up is patently absurd. He certainly didn’t enjoy the otherworldly athleticism of his prime, but he was still an undeniably effective player.
He led all Wizards in scoring during his first season and played in all 82 games the following year, in which he shot better than 45 percent from the field and dropped 40 or more points on three separate occasions. It’s understandable that Bulls fans would’ve preferred to see him don only one uniform for his career, but his time in Washington isn’t the travesty some folks make it out to be.