Did michael jordan play football ? On October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan made the shocking announcement to retire after leading the Chicago Bulls to a third straight NBA title. Jordan would soon trade his sneakers for baseball spikes, as the NBA’s greatest player would spend 18 months in baseball in the White Sox’s minor league system. Jordan’s foray into baseball will be one of the main storylines in the upcoming episode of “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s 10-part series chronicling the Bulls’ 1997-98 championship season.
While Jordan’s lifelong love of baseball is well-documented, his flirtation with possibly trying his hand at football has been mostly forgotten. In his bestselling book “Playing For Keeps,” author David Halberstam recalled an interview he conducted with Jordan as part of a Sports Illustrated feature in January of 1992. During the interview, Jordan openly talked about the prospect of playing a different sport at some point in the not-too-distant future.
“Jordan took the opportunity to go on at length about wanting to try major-league baseball, and he talked about his recent dreams of batting against some of baseball’s most feared power pitchers,” Halberstam wrote. “He had also mentioned trying professional football — one more challenge — and had talked about it with his friend [former Bears defensive end] Richard Dent. He would be a wide receiver but would not go after passes coming across the middle, he noted.”
Along with playing baseball and basketball, Jordan also played football during his youth. At 6-foot-6 and 218 pounds, Jordan would have been an imposing presence as a receiver, assuming he would figure out a way to create separation from defensive backs at the line of scrimmage.
If he could have found a way to break containment at the line of scrimmage, Jordan’s size would have given him a significant advantage over most defensive backs from that era. Michael Irvin, one of the greatest receivers from that era, checked in at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds.
While his route-running skills would have needed significant work, Jordan’s sheer size, speed (North Carolina coach Roy Williams recently unveiled that Jordan ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard-dash in college) and peerless jumping ability would have made him a nightmare for opposing defensive backs.
Speaking of his athletic ability, as well as his drive to prove his doubters wrong, Jordan did showcase his ability to throw a football at about the time he was reportedly flirting with the idea of playing pro football.
Packers sign OL Michael Jordan to practice squad
The Green Bay Packers signed OL Michael Jordan to the practice squad and released TE Austin Allen from the practice squad. The transactions were announced Tuesday by General Manager Brian Gutekunst.
Jordan (6-6, 315), a fifth-year player out of Ohio State, was originally selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round (No. 136 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. After two seasons with the Bengals (2019-20), he played the past two years with the Carolina Panthers (2021-22).
Overall, Jordan has played in 55 regular-season games with 29 starts at left guard. He played right guard for his first two seasons in college before switching to center as a junior. Jordan earned first-team All-America honors from SI.com and second-team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2018. Jordan will wear No. 79 for the Packers.
What Michael Jordan Looked Like As A Football Player
Before Michael Jordan became arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, he was a multi-sport athlete growing up in North Carolina.
The Tar Heels and Chicago Bulls legend played basketball, baseball and football at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Jordan’s basketball and baseball careers are obviously well documented, but we don’t know a ton about his football career.
Knowing Jordan, he was probably pretty dang good. He likely would have made for an extremely gifted wide receiver.
What would Michael Jordan’s career have looked like if he was a footballer?
We’re on day sixtysomething without football, I’ve completely run out of ideas and I’m not even sure I can remember what a corner flag looks like at this stage.
When this level of writer’s block sets in, the only option is to take a topic everybody is discussing and crowbar in a tentative link to football.
Coronavirus? Bit heavy. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Tricky. Florence Nightingale? Awful at football. The Last Dance? Now that might just work.
If you’ve been watching The Last Dance on Netfilx- and let’s be honest, who hasn’t exhausted all their streaming options by now?- then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
But, for those psychopaths who’ve been filling their time with homemade banana bread, walks to the local park and reading Normal People, here’s a synopsis: man works himself into a perpetual rage in order to become the best in the world at throwing a ball through a hoop.
Now, how to link a documentary about Michael Jordan’s All-Star basketball career to football?
There are obvious parallels with Roy Keane. Where Jordan was part of the most successful basketball dynasties of the nineties in the Chicago Bulls, Keane was part of the nineties’ most dominant football side in Man United.
Both consistently fell out with management, with Jordan consistently going to war with Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause and Keane walking out of Ireland’s 2002 World Cup camp after a fight with manager Mick McCarthy.
And, while both were serial winners, finding gushing character appraisals from team-mates would be as hard for Keane as it would be for Jordan.
But Keane didn’t have Jordan’s panache and flair on or off the pitch, so the comparisons fall short. Just think, you’d never catch him dead in a pair of high-top Air Jordans.
Then there are the comparisons with Lionel Messi, given both arguably became bigger than the team they represented.
Would Chicago Bulls be as recognisable a brand worldwide if it weren’t for Jordan? No. Would Barcelona’s name carry the same weight with younger generations if it weren’t for Messi? No.
It’s also tempting to bring in Scottie Pippen and Ronaldinho as the sidekicks who, despite immense talent, had to come to terms with living in the shadows of greatness.
But Jordan played for mes que uno club, rendering any comparison with Messi invalid.
Michael Jordan Thought About Trying to Be an NFL Wide Receiver
Despite being arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan took one full season and part of another one off to try out another sport. That sport, as you probably know, was baseball. However, baseball was not the only sport Jordan thought about attempting. Jordan thought about becoming an NFL wide receiver.
Michael Jordan was the best player in the world in 1993
Michael Jordan was at the top of his game in 1993. From his first season in 1984-95 through 1992-93, Jordan was an All-Star in every single season. He also led the entire NBA in scoring seven seasons in a row from 1986-87 through 1992-93, and won the NBA’s MVP award in 1987-88, 1990-91, and 1991-92.
In addition to all of that, Jordan and the Bulls were one of the greatest teams of all-time. Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls won three straight NBA championships from 1990-91 through 1992-93.
So, with Jordan being a part of something so historical, and so successful, why would he want to mess that up by leaving? Well, he did just that.
Retiring and trying a baseball career
Jordan then ultimately attempted to play professional baseball. In March 1994, the Chicago White Sox assigned Jordan to the Birmingham Barons in the Double-A, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Jordan then ultimately appeared in 127 games for the Barons. He went .202 at the plate and had three home runs to go with 51 RBIs.
As you probably know, Jordan ultimately returned to the NBA and played for the Bulls near the end of the 1994-95 season. He then won three straight championships again with the Bulls from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
While his baseball career maybe didn’t go as planned, baseball was not the only sport Jordan wanted to try.
Jordan also had dreams of playing football
Michael Jordan did actually try to play professional baseball. He, however, also discussed wanting to try professional football.
Author David Halberstam wrote in his book “Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made,” about an interview he did with Jordan for a story he did for Sports Illustrated, according to CBS Sports.
Jordan maybe had a chance to be an even better wide receiver than he was a baseball player. Not only was he tall, but Jordan was very fast. Current North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams told Colin Cowherd on The Herd that Jordan ran a 4.38 40-yard dash during his sophomore season, according to CBS Sports. He could have been one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL with that speed.
Michael Jordan was a great basketball player and a mediocre baseball player. However, we will always be left to wonder how great (or not-so-great) of a football player Jordan could have been.
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