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On This Date in Sports April 16, 2003: Jordan's End

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Michael Jordan plays his final NBA game with the Washington Wizards, scoring 15 points with four rebounds and four assists. The Wizards are beaten by the Philadelphia 76ers at the First Union Center. Jordan received an ovation every time he entered the game or went to the bench. At the end of the game, fans chanted, "We Want Mike," wanting to see more of the greatest of all time before he walked off the floor for the last time. 

It was the perfect finish to a legendary career—June 14, 1998, Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan hit the game-winning shot to give the Chicago Bulls their sixth championship in eight years. The Bulls had won the NBA Championship in each of Jordan's final six complete seasons. Jordan had won six MVP awards, six NBA Finals MVPs, and scoring titles in his final ten complete seasons. It was Michael Jordan's final game as he retired for the second time as the Bulls were broken up after the season. 

Michael Jordan was the biggest star in the sports world in 1994. Born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn and raised in North Carolina, Jordan led North Carolina to a National Championship as a freshman in 1982. After he was drafted third overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 draft, Michael Jordan became a start instantly in the NBA, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1985. He eventually became the best player in the NBA, leading the league in scoring for the first time in 1987. A year later, he won his first MVP award as he improved his defensive game. It would take Michael Jordan a few seasons to get the right mix of teammates around him, but in 1991, Jordan led the Bulls to their first championship, beginning a dynasty that would define basketball in the 1990s. The Bulls won three straight titles from 1991-1993. After attempting a baseball career, Michael Jordan returned to the Bulls and won three more titles before heading into the sunset. 

After retiring, Michael Jordan took a job with the Washington Wizards, becoming the head of basketball operations. Inspired by the comeback of Mario Lemieux in hockey, Jordan decided to make a comeback in 2001 playing with the Wizards. There would be no miracles this time as father time had his way with Michael Jordan. Playing on a bad Wizards team, Jordan had two forgettable seasons in Washington, averaging career lows with 22.9 ppg in 2001/02 and 20.0 ppg in 2002/03. Along the way, Jordan squabbled with teammates and would lose his front-office job. After his dismissal, Jordan expressed he felt betrayed. He later would take a job with the Charlotte Bobcats, later becoming team owner as the team took back the name Charlotte Hornets. 

Michael Jordan's return to the NBA with the Wizards was an abject failure ruining one of the greatest endings in sports history. It would be like rewriting the end of Shawshank Redemption to have the police surrounding Red and Andy on the beach and taking them back to prison.