Everyone wanted to "Be Like Mike." Who wouldn't, with six NBA titles in eight seasons?
The five-time NBA MVP and six-time Finals MVP led the league in scoring 10 times — and was also named to the all-defensive first team nine times. MJ's staggering stat lines would be even more impressive had he not twice briefly retired.
The first time he stepped away was in 1993, after the Chicago Bulls' third straight title, following his father’s murder along a North Carolina highway. While there was speculation about a golf career, Jordan started playing minor league baseball with the White Sox, and the Bulls quickly retired his iconic No. 23 in 1994.
He quit baseball in 1995 during a preseason strike and came back to help the Bulls' playoff push. A season later, Jordan and the Bulls started their second streak of three NBA titles, including a then-best 72-10 regular-season record.
He retired again after winning that sixth title, but returned to the NBA as part owner of the Washington Wizards, and started playing again in D.C. after the terror attacks in September 2001, leading the Wizards in scoring.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist (once in college and as a member of the 1992 Dream Team) finally retired for good in 2003 with a career average of more than 30 points per game.