Greatest free agency signings in NBA history: 16. Michael Jordan- Washington Wizards, 2001
Most Jordan fans would like to forget that his stint with the Wizards never happened. It was like watching Patrick Ewing play for the Orlando Magic or Hakeem Olajuwon play for the Toronto Raptors. It was like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror without the cool technology.
Jordan, who served as part owner and president of basketball operations for the Wizards, made his second comeback to the hardwood prior to the 2001-02 season. While his decision to donate his player earnings to relief efforts for the victims of the September 11th attacks, the feel-good stories would end there for the most part.
As far as his on-court performance went, Jordan would show glimpses of what made him the GOAT, but more often than not, he looked like a more famous version of Latrell Sprewell or, to use a modern example, DeMar DeRozan.
Even though his numbers were still more than respectable — most players knocking on the door of 40 would love to average 21.2 points with a 19.9 PER over a two-year period — Jordan had clearly lost a step, and even a lesser version of Jordan wasn’t enough to take a Wizards team that win only 19 games prior to Jodan’s arrival back to the playoffs. This also made his less admirable behavior, such as allegedly driving Kwame Brown to the point of tears, harder to ignore.
Again, this is the chapter of Jordan’s career that everyone seems fine with pretending didn’t happen, even if some of his issues with the team were self-inflicted.