Two very different circumstances took Michael Jordan away from the NBA for significant stretches of time, but each time he came back an equally good, if not better player.
The first incident occurred in 1985, when Jordan broke his foot very early on in the season. He missed nearly the entire 1985-86 season, returning to play sparingly in the final 15 regular season games. He wasn’t interested in missing the Bulls’ playoff clash with the Celtics, however, and scored 49 and 63 points respectively in the first two games of the series.
The more publicized Jordan hiatus was his decision to retire from basketball in October of 1993. After dabbling in professional baseball for a season, however, MJ got the itch to return to the court, and with little preparation of any kind became one of the game’s best players. With a full offseason to get back into basketball shape, Jordan led the Bulls to three straight titles and won another two MVP awards.