Jordans Official Statement
REGARDING HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE CHICAGO BULLS AND THE NBA
January 13, 1999 -- The following is a statement from Michael Jordan regarding his retirement from the Bulls and the NBA:
"After a great deal of thought, as well as discussion with my family, I have decided to retire from basketball. This is a difficult decision, and it is an emotional moment for me.
"Ever since I was a small boy, I dreamed of playing basketball at the highest level of competition. I dreamed of playing in college and winning a national championship. I dreamed of playing in the Olympics and winning a gold medal. I dreamed of playing in the National Basketball Association and winning a world championship.
"Thanks to my teammates and my coaches, and to the support of many other people, these dreams have come true. I have always played basketball for the love of the game. It has never been anything more than that.
"My physical skills are as strong as ever. But the mental aspect is not the same -- the challenge is no longer as great. I promised myself -- and I have said many times publicly -- that when the mental challenge began to fade, I would leave. That time is now here.
"I thank all of the teammates and coaches I have been associated with throughout my career, and especially my teammates and coaches with the Chicago Bulls.
"Basketball is first and foremost a team game. We have won championships in Chicago because of teamwork and team unity. I cherish the six world championships with the Bulls more than anything else.
"I am grateful to the Chicago Bulls organization and to the NBA for providing me with so many great opportunities.
"Most of all, I thank the fans. You accepted me the day I arrived as a young player from the University of North Carolina. Your support has always given me added inspiration and motivation.
"In the coming months, I look forward to spending more time with my family, something that was not always possible because of the demands of basketball. I also have other things I hope to accomplish, especially in the business world.
"I hope, too, that you will respect my privacy, and that of my family, in the days ahead.
"I wish the very best to the Bulls as they seek a seventh championship. I will always be a Chicago Bull, and a Chicago Bulls fan. My family and I have made Chicago our home, and we have a special place in our hearts for the city and its people.
"The NBA is the strongest professional sports league in the world. The league and the game are bigger than any one person -- Michael Jordan included -- and they always will be. I hope that today players -- especially our young players -- continue to recognize that simple fact. Nothing is more important than the game itself and the fans who support it.
"I am privileged to have played basketball."