Michael Jordan retired from the NBA for the second time in January 1999 while he was with the Washington Wizards. Several fans blamed then-Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause for Michael Jordan's retirement, wondering if the NBA legend would have played another season had Krause played ball with the six-time NBA champion. However, ESPN reports that Jordan might not have been able to play the 1999 lockout-shortened season due to a severed tendon in his finger.
According to ESPN, Michael Jordan hurt his finger while he was trying to cut a cigar at a casino while in the Bahamas. Though there is not much information available, a 2000 report stated that it happened while the six-time NBA champion was 'fooling around' with a cigar cutter. Jordan later blamed the cigar cutter for being cheaply made and breaking when he pressed it during a Chicago-Sun Times interview.
While the injury was to take six weeks to heal, Jordan also suffered from nerve damage from the incident. The Bulls legend's hand was severely damaged as he revealed that he had been unable to palm a basketball. Jordan later underwent another surgery to repair his first injury. He added that during the surgery, he was told that due to him distracting his finger so many times, the only course of action was reattaching his tendon. Jordan could shoot but could not grip the ball properly. He was unable to pick up the ball and dribble like he used to. Jordan came back later, and played with the Wizards till the 2002-03 season before retiring,
However, Jordan's injury was apparently unrelated to his decision to leave the NBA. The Bulls legend had already decided to part, owing to the turbulent relationship Krause had with the players. The team also did not have enough salary cap for Jordan, whose salary was more than the entire NBA's salary cap during his final two years in Chicago.