Michael Jordan said he was willing to sign a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls after the 97-98 season in an attempt to win their fourth straight championship.
"If you asked all the guys who won in '98 ... 'We'll give you a one-year contract to try for a seventh,' you think they would've signed? Yes, they would've signed," Jordan said. "Would I have signed for one year? Yes, I would've signed for one year. I've been signing one-year contracts up to that."
Jerry Krause told Phil Jackson that the 97-98 season would be his last with the Bulls no matter what.
But after the Bulls won their sixth title, Jerry Reinsdorf offered Jackson the opportunity to return.
"After the sixth championship, I offered him the opportunity to come back," Reinsdorf said. "[I said,] 'You've earned the opportunity to come back, regardless of what was said before now.'"
"I said, 'Well, I think I should just take a break,'" Jackson said. "I don't think it's fair to Jerry [Krause], and I know it would be difficult for him to accept that."
Jordan was showed footage of Jackson and Reinsdorf recounting the exchange.
"I can't wait to hear this. We've never had any dialogue about [it]. I've made my own assumptions about it," said Jordan.
As Jordan watched, his eyebrows popped up, and a disbelieving smirk crawled across his face.
"In '98, Krause already said at the beginning of the season, 'Phil can go 82-0, and he was never gonna be the coach.' So when Phil said it was the last dance, it was the last dance," Jordan said after watching the clip. "We knew they weren't going to keep the team. Now, they could've nixed all of it at the beginning of '98. Why say that statement at the beginning of '98?"
Jordan said he would have signed another contract to win their seventh title.
"Would Phil have done it? Yes," he continued. "Now, Pip, you would've had to do some convincing. But if Phil was going to be there, if Dennis was going to be there, if MJ was going to be there, to win our seventh? Pip is not going to miss out on that."