Michael Jordan was drafted to the Boston Celtics in the 1st round of the 1984 NBA Draft. There were rumors that Michael wanted to go to Boston to play for his hometown team. He had said he wanted to go back to Boston after he retired. So what happened?
In 1994, the Boston Celtics traded for two of their star players of the future: Scottie Pippen and John Salley. The deal followed a number of rumors that the Celtics were after Michael Jordan.
In 1994, Michael Jordan appeared to be on his way out of the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, but he wasn’t done yet. With the Bulls declining, the Lakers were ready to make a run at the Finals. Jordan was deciding whether to head to the Lakers, the Knicks, or the Celtics, who were still trying to win a title.
M.L. Carr, the former general manager of the Boston Celtics, claimed he attempted to persuade Michael Jordan to return to the city following his initial retirement from the NBA. Jordan traded in his shoes for baseball cleats in order to join the Chicago White Sox’s professional baseball team. Carr attempted to make it happen during that period, in his first year as the Celtics’ general manager.
M.L. Carr said that he would give up a first-round selection to talk with Michael Jordan.
During an NBA All-Star Game at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls sits on the bench with Chris Webber. The East won 132-120 against the West. | Getty Images
Jordan played Double-A baseball with the Birmingham Barons during the 1993-94 NBA season. Carr felt the former Chicago Bulls great wasn’t done with basketball in his first year as the Celtics’ general manager. Carr recalls reaching out to Bulls general manager Jerry Krause in May 2020 to explore what it would take to get Jordan to Boston.
“I gave Jerry a first-round draft pick (only to speak with Jordan), and he said, ‘Well, M.L., Mike isn’t coming back.’ Carr told NBC Sports, ‘He’s retiring.’ “Well, he’s on his way back. I believe he is.”
Carr and Jordan have a long history together. He knew the former Bulls great when he was 11 years old, according to the former Celtics player, coach, and general manager. He wanted to utilize his Boston connections to get him into a uniform.
“I figured I could utilize the relationship to persuade Mike to return,” he said. “And I felt that if he did come back and wore Celtics green for whatever reason, it would be a whole new marketing channel for him, and it would definitely fly through the roof.”
According to Jerry Krause, the subject of Michael Jordan and the Boston Celtics never came up with M.L. Carr.
It would have been difficult enough to pry Jordan away from the Bulls. Getting Jordan to play in Boston would have been a huge coup for the NBA. Krause is said to have forgotten about the discussion.
Carr said, “As far as I understand it, Jerry denied having the discussion, which is just false.” “We did have a conversation,” says the narrator. When I saw Michael had quit the game, I contacted Jerry. Michael would not be gone indefinitely, I knew.
“However, he denied that I did it, perhaps to save face with his owners… I felt (Jordan) had already done it in that Chicago outfit, but if he had a chance to come to Boston and wear the green, what a fantastic marketing opportunity that would be. He’d have earned a ton of money. It was not to be. It would’ve been fantastic.”
According to NBC Sports, Krause’s inability to remember the discussion was discussed in The Chicago Tribune.
Krause stated at the time, “I must have lost my memory since I don’t recall talking to M.L. on that topic.” “I thought I’d remember it, but I don’t.” I’m not sure whether there was some kind of translation error. I went over my notes from my discussion with M.L., but it wasn’t there.”
Carr said that getting Jordan to Boston was a long shot, but he would have done everything to make it happen.
“That wasn’t Michael Jordan out there,” says the narrator. That was Michael Jordan dressed as God.”
Michael Jordan scored 63 points in a Playoff defeat to the Boston Celtics 34 years ago today.
63 POINTS (22-41 FG, 0-0 3PT) 6 AST, 5 REB, 3 STL, 2 BLK; 6 AST, 5 REB, 3 STL, 2 BLK; 6 AST, 5 pic.twitter.com/cHSDdelBt9
April 20, 2020 — Ballislife.com (@Ballislife)
During the early and mid-1990s, the Celtics were struggling. Carr was a first-year general manager trying to make an impression. That year, he brought in Dominique Wilkins, and it’s not out of the question that he’d want to bring Jordan in as well.
The Jordan-to-Boston rumor was first reported in an Associated Press article on July 26, 1994, according to NBC Sports. Carr said in the piece that he would do everything to bring Jordan to Boston, even shagging fly balls for him.
“It was simply a notion I had one day on the phone. “I’m sure (Krause) thought I was crazy,” he added. “The offer is out there,” says the narrator. You may think it’s ridiculous, but you have no idea what (Jordan) is thinking. For him, I’ll shag balls. I’ll go to any length. Michael, please come to Boston.”
RELATED: Michael Jordan’s $1,894 Transcript Shows He Didn’t Play Basketball at UNC