Back In The Game
After a brief attempt to start a baseball career, Jordan roared back from retirement in 1995, again playing for the Bulls. His first season back, he was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player. In 1996, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player again in 1997. In 1999, he "retired" again at 36 years old but stayed in the game as an owner and executive when he became part owner of the Washington Wizards in 2000 and director of basketball operations for the team.
Jordan, however, found it impossible to stay off the court. He was 38 years old when he announced the end of his second retirement, saying that he would play for the Wizards. NBA rules required that he sell his ownership stake in the Wizards before playing for the team. He also had to give up his management position with the Wizards to avoid a conflict of interest created by being both a manager and a player.
Before Jordan could play again, he had to get back in shape, shedding 28 pounds, and undergoing a training regimen that included practicing with increasingly experienced
basketball players. As he said on his Web site: "It was definitely tougher to come back…than I had expected. After taking time off the sport, I had to work much harder to get my body back into shape. My body is also a lot older than it used to be…that that's ok. I came back for the love of the game.…"
Jordan stepped onto the court as a player once again in the 2001-02 season, but after a knee injury requiring surgery forced him to miss 20 games the following season, he again announced his retirement. "At the end of this season, I'm not looking to enter another contract," he told the Washington Post's Steve Wyche in November, 2002. "Right now I want to finish this year out and hopefully fulfill my obligations and let this team take its own course." He also indicated that he would resume his managerial role with the Wizards, and other sources reported that he planned to repurchase the ownership stake in the team that he had given up in order to become a player.
Jordan is married to Juanita Jordan. They have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine Mikail. His leisure pursuits include shopping. "I am a huge shopper," Jordan said on his Web site, "although it is hard for me to go to malls and stores since I am easily recognized. Therefore, I do a lot of my shopping through catalogues. I love shopping in New York City and some stores will even open on their off hours for me." Jordan also enjoys playing golf. In fact, he said on his Web site, "When I'm not on the court, you can probably find me on the golf course. However, I am a total hack! For the most part it is a great mental sport that allows me to relax and get away."
Jordan is also involved in many business ventures and charities not related to basketball. Among them, a chain of restaurants located in Chicago, New York, Chapel Hill, and in Connecticut. Among the charities he supports are Make-A-Wish, Ronald McDonald House, and the Boys & Girls Clubs. "It is very important for me to give back to others," he explains on his Web site. "My wife and I also give to many local charities which benefit children."
After finally retiring as a player, Jordan looked forward to spending more time with his family "as well as trying to live for the moment and enjoy each day as it comes," he said on his Web site. He also planned to play a lot of golf.