Documentary: Gambling Not Source of MJ’s 1st Retirement

by August 24, 2010

ESPN‘s latest sports doc examines Michael Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA, but its director tells the Chicago Tribune that despite making for a good story, it had nothing to do with MJ’s gambling issues: “For years, there have been whispers around the NBA that Michael Jordan first retired from the league in 1993 to play baseball because of his heavy involvement in gambling. Ron Shelton, who directed the ESPN ’30 for 30′ documentary ‘Jordan Rides the Bus’ that airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, has been disabused of that notion. ‘I probably, like most people in America, thought he left the NBA for a year because of gambling,’ Shelton told us Monday. ‘After researching the project, I was utterly convinced that was nonsense.’ Shelton said he found no reason to believe the NBA quietly punished Jordan for a year because of gambling. ‘Everybody that I talked to said they spent hundreds of hours looking for smoking guns and there is not even a leak; it’s just circumstantial. It’s just a theory,’ he said.”