The Last Dance brought several unheard stories from Michael Jordan's legendary career back to the fray. Although it revolved around the Bulls' 1997-98 season, the docu-series visited many key moments in his early career with Chicago Bulls. One of them was Michael Jordan's close relationship with his father, James R. Jordan.
In the opening episode of The Last Dance, fans saw Michael Jordan opening up on the father-son relationship and how crucial James R. Jordan was in Michael Jordan's success in the NBA. Episodes 7 and 8 addressed Jordan's first retirement in 1993 and once again raised speculation over the tragic murder of James R. Jordan in 1993. The James Jordan murder is well-documented by several publications, most notably by The Chicago Tribune.
Michael Jordan's retirement in 1993 came shortly after his father was murdered in July that year and is believed to be one of the reasons that drove Jordan to cut short his basketball career. After being away from the media after the loss of his father, Jordan appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he opened up on the tragic incident and how he coped with it for months. One of the questions fired at Jordan was if the NBA star had an ill-feeling against Daniel Andre Green and Larry Martin Demery, who murdered his father.
Despite Green and Demery getting hate from the Chicago community for their actions, Jordan said he barely thought about the accused as he was not at that stage yet. “I haven’t gotten to that stage yet," Jordan said. "It’s been a very tough time for me to deal with it. I don’t have any feelings against him yet, because it has not really sunk in yet.” Jordan further said he was not interested in knowing the reasons behind the murder as he admitted it would only end up hurting him more.
One of the most surprising decisions Jordan made after the loss of his father was to retire from the NBA at the prime age of 30. On October 6, 1993 - almost three months after his father's murder - Michael Jordan stunned the NBA when he announced his retirement. Jordan cited the loss of desire to play as the reason behind his decision to retire. Addressing his retirement in 1993, Jordan said, "He wanted me to quit after the first championship but I had many things to accomplish. He saw my last game, so that is the greatest gratification that I can have.”
After retiring in 1993, Michael Jordan enjoyed a short stint in Minor League Baseball before returning to the NBA in strong fashion. On March 18, 1995, Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release: "I'm back.". Jordan's 'I'm Back' is now considered one of the most iconic NBA moments. He returned as his usual best helping the Bulls win their second three-peat between 1996 and 1998 before retiring for the second time in 1999. He did come out of retirement again in 2001 to play a part for the Washington Wizards. He played his final NBA game on April 16, 2003, and retired for the third and final time.