Lakers News: LeBron James Reacted To Michael Jordan Retiring, Scoring 55 Points At Madison Square Garden & Switching Back To No. 23 During ‘The Last Dance’
Lakers, LeBron James
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As has been the case since it debuted, ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” was on everyone’s mind as it premiered episodes 7 and 8.

Sports stars past and present, celebrities, and fans were all glued in on the story following Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls and giving their opinion on the latest episodes. Los Angeles Laker All-Star LeBron James was right at the forefront through the entire showing.

There have been many debates about who is the greatest basketball player of all-time between LeBron and Michael Jordan, but the respect is immense as James surely grew up watching and admiring Jordan. That showed through many different parts of these episodes as LeBron gave his thoughts on a number of different topics.

A large part of the latest episodes focused on what led to Jordan’s first retirement following the 1993 season. James took to Twitter and admitted that he cried during the announcement:

It was undoubtedly a shocking moment for many fans across the globe. To see the greatest player in the league retire before the age of 30 after winning three consecutive NBA Championships was simply unheard of. LeBron was definitely not alone in crying upon seeing that announcement.

Of course, Jordan would return near the end of the 1994-95 season and it didn’t take long for him to show he was still the NBA’s premier player. In just his fifth game back Jordan scored 55 points against the New York Knicks at the legendary Madison Square Garden, prompting James to reiterate his love for the famed arena:

James has his own memories in Madison Square Garden as back in February of 2009. He nearly registered a 50-point triple-double, finishing with 52 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Coincidentally, the performance came just two days after Kobe Bryant broke the MSG scoring record with a 61-point performance for the Lakers.

Though Jordan did return, it wasn’t enough as the Bulls fell to the Orlando Magic, led by Shaquille O’Neal before his Lakers days, in the second round of the 1995 playoffs. But thanks to a comment from Magic guard Nick Anderson after a Game 1 win, Jordan made the decision to switch his jersey back to 23 from the 45 he had worn upon his return, another legendary moment in James’ eyes:

Seeing Jordan back in his No. 23 jersey ahead of Game 2 of that series was a surreal moment for many, and his performance backed up the change. Jordan dropped 38 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks that game as the Bulls evened the series.

One thing that has always been the case among NBA greats is the respect level. Whether it’s Jordan, James, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, there is always a level of respect and admiration amongst the legends and this is James showing the utmost to Jordan.

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