Michael Jordan has retired from playing professional basketball in the NBA 3 times. The second time he did so was when he left the game as a Chicago Bull after winning his 6th championship in 1998. He would not play for 3 seasons and would instead take up a job as the President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards.

Along with his position in the front office, Jordan also had a 10% stake in the Wizards. His time with them was shaky at best. He traded away a promising young star in Rip Hamilton (core member of the ’04 Pistons title team) and drafted perhaps the most disappointing NBA star of the 21st century, Kwame Brown.

Eventually, Jordan grew tired of being confined to an office. He left the NBA world on top as the best player in league history. He would look to carry his legacy forward and in doing so, unretired and became a Washington Wizards player.

Michael Jordan had to give up close between $20 million and $30 million
Michael Jordan could not have stake in the Washington Wizards and also be an active player on their roster. So, if he wanted to play for the team, he had to sell stake. He was so determined to get back on NBA hardwood that he did just the same.

At the time, the Washington Wizards were worth anywhere between $200 million and $300 million. Concrete data on the exact worth of the franchise isn’t available past 2003 and in ’03, the Wizards were worth $278 million.

10% of this would be $27 million and so Michael Jordan was asked to sell his stake worth around this figure. He did so to Ted Leonsis, the man who headed the minority stake group for the Wizards.

“I feel like there is no better way of teaching young players than to be on the court with them as a fellow player. Not just in practice, but in NBA games,” stated Jordan according to the Washington Post.

Michael Jordan wanted to win a championship in 2003
Michael Jordan, who was creeping up into his 40s by the time he had retired for the 3rd and final time, truly believed he would be able to win a championship with the Washington Wizards. Kwame Brown confirmed this as he stated MJ just wanted to sneak into the Playoffs because if he did, he would’ve gone all the way.

The Wizards in the 2002 and ’03 season posted the same exact regular season record of 37-45, missing the postseason both times. If MJ wanted to win a title, his best chance was in 2001-02 as they even had a winning record of 26-21 at one point. Unfortunately, ‘Father Time’ caught up with MJ as he suffered lower body injuries later that season and was ruled out.