Why, Michael? Why?

Is it just me or is anyone else haunted by Michael Jordan’s second comeback to basketball (after he had retired for the second time)? Does it ever creep into your mind and make you think “why Michael, why? Why did you do it Michael?”

Your first comeback was spectacular. Everyone was so pleased to see you and there was (rightly) a real sense of optimism in the entire basketball community. It was the resurrection, the second coming. You got the Bulls back on top again. You saved the day.

You scored the winning points, in the final few seconds of the winning game against the Jazz. You won the title for yourself and the Bulls, for a sixth time, yours and the team’s second three-peat. We all knew we were witnessing history and we all knew there was no better way of tying things up. What a way to retire. It was a real life Hollywood ending. Did you really think it could get better than that? Did you, Michael? Did you?

INGLEWOOD, CA - JUNE 12:  Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls goes for a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers in game five of the 1991 NBA Finals on June 12, 1991 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The Bulls won 108-101 NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1991 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA – JUNE 12: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls goes for a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers in game five of the 1991 NBA Finals on June 12, 1991 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The Bulls won 108-101.

And when you returned – at the age of 38 – when you were clearly past it – you came back to play for the Wizards. After an entire career with the Bulls, a career that was truly Hollywood, you go to for the Wizards, Michael? Really? The Wizards? Come on, mate. Had you not returned to the NBA, had you chosen a minor league, just as a hobby, it would have all been ok. It would have been no different to playing on your local street court.

You really blew it, Michael. No athlete could have ever dreamed of having a career like yours and ending it – or what we all thought was ending it – in the spectacular way we all thought you did. And then you really went and bollocksed it up.

It still haunts me to this day. It’s like a recurring dream, except it’s real and I’m awake. Every now and then it pops into my head and I get the same feeling as when I think of Guns ’N’ Roses with no Slash, Izzy or Duff, or Queen with Paul Rogers. Does anyone else ever get this, or is it just me?

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Why, Michael? Why?

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