Michael Jordan – The First Retirement and the Iconic Moments That May Have Never Been

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Michael Jordan Retires, November 1st, 1994

To kick off every new season, NBA teams will take time to honor great players by retiring their jerseys, raising them to the rafters of the stadium to show respect and also celebrate their legacy. On November 1, 21 years ago today, Michael Jordan’s jersey was retired by the Chicago Bulls.

It’s safe to say that most people were still shocked that the greatest NBA player of all time would choose to give up the game, and of course there are those that believe it was all a conspiracy. Regardless of the actual reasoning or what team you cheered for, MJ leaving shook up the entire sports world.

Of course, we all know MJ returned to the NBA with the infamous “I’m Back” letter, but what if he hadn’t? What impact would it have had on the game of basketball? Or more importantly for us, sneakers?!? There is no doubt Michael Jordan and his sneakers are the most important part of sneaker history. You’d have a hard time finding anyone (aside from maybe Knicks fans) that wasn’t fascinated by MJ and his shoes that grew up during that era.

Take a look at The Iconic Moments That May Have Never Been and let us know what your favorite MJ memory is.

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Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with 10 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector and Sneaker News. He’s an avid San Francisco Giants fan, Allen Iverson fan, and owns way too many sneakers for his own good.