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May 12th, 2014 by John Kim / 47
Thus far, the 2014 NBA Playoffs have delivered everything we’ve expected of pro sports in the postseason. The high stress, hard fouls, heady plays, and hefty comebacks have delivered some high-octane entertainment, all of which pale in comparison to the fact that the eventual champion is still a big question mark. Needless to say, it’s been nothing but must-see-TV in the NBA front over the last two weeks, a nice departure from best-of-sevens of recent years that seem to reach a conclusion after two or three games. There’s obviously more of a story when there isn’t a clear-cut winner and lower-seeded teams emerge as contenders, but in the decade prior to the new century, it was all Jordan; he and the Bulls dominated when it came to the “second” season and the power shifted back to the West only when MJ was absent from the game. That doesn’t mean his track record went unscathed, because there was a time in the 90’s when Michael Jordan was sent home.
Had it not been for retirement, it is entirely possible that the Jordan-led dynasty could’ve stretched to double digits. Arguably the most competition the Bulls ever got in the Finals was Malone, Stockton, and the Utah Jazz, but even those teams couldn’t stretch the series to seven games. Sports romantics would point to his early retirements in ’93 and ’98 as the only thing getting in the way of a potential decade-long dynasty, but Michael did have a chance to win another in 1995 when he made a surprise comeback to the Bulls with just a handful of games left in the regular season. Did the early return and exit taint his legacy in any way? Not likely, but it says more about what should have been – an uninterrupted string of titles at least eight long. While we’re amidst one of the best NBA Playoffs perhaps of the post-Jordan era, let’s take a look back at Jordan’s sole exit from the postseason back in ’95.