Scottie Pippen dishes on Michael Jordan's first return to the NBA

1:02 | NBA
Scottie Pippen reminisces about Michael Jordan's first return to NBA
Thursday March 19th, 2015

On the 20th anniversary of Michael Jordan's first return to the NBA, longtime Chicago Bulls running mate Scottie Pippen shared his memories of March 18, 1995, in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Jordan retired from the NBA for the first of three times following the 1992-93 season, which marked the Bulls' third straight NBA Finals championship. He cited a loss of his desire to play professional basketball, and also said the murder of his father a month after the 1993 Finals prompted him to step away.

Jordan later begun a minor-league baseball career in 1993-94 before returning to the Bulls.

Four anecdotes from Michael Jordan's first return to the NBA

Jordan announced his return to the NBA with a famous fax that, after a brief statement by his personal attorney and business manager, David B. Falk, said only two words: "I'm back."

Jordan later retired for a second time following the 1997-98 season. He returned in 2001 with the Washington Wizards, with whom he played two seasons.

The Bulls trained at the Berto Center in Deerfield, Ill., from 1992 until 2014, when they opened a new facility closer to downtown Chicago and the United Center.

Michael Jordan: The Everywhere Man

The Bulls went 55-27 in 1993-94, losing the Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games to the New York Knicks. The following season, they went 47-35 and again lost in the East semis, this time in six games to the Orlando Magic.

Jordan famously wore 45 on his jersey—his ubiquitous No. 23 was still technically retired by the Bulls, and No. 45 was his number while playing baseball with the Birmingham Barons, a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

Jordan's first game back in 1995 came on March 15, a 103-96 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Jordan scored 19 points and shot 7-of-28 from the field and 0-of-4 from three-point range.

• Reggie Miller recounts talking trash to Michael Jordan as a rookie

He averaged 24.8 points on 39.4 percent shooting over his first four games back before his famous "double-nickel" game—Jordan dropped 55 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden before setting up Bill Wennington for a dunk to give the Bulls a last-second, 113-111 win.

The Bulls began their second three-peat in the 1995-96 season. Dennis Rodman, a future NBA Hall of Famer, was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Bulls before that season.


Mike Fiammetta

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.