The 1994-95 Chicago Bulls were able to finish third overall in the Central Division and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. Chicago received a major boost upon the return of Michael Jordan, who came out of retirement to rejoin the team. The Bulls would eventually lose in the second round of the 1995 NBA Playoffs to the Orlando Magic.
In the 1993–94 season, the Jordan-less Bulls notched a 55–27 record, and lost to the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. But the 1994–95 version of the Bulls was a shell of the championship squad of just two years earlier. Struggling at mid-season to ensure a spot in the playoffs, Chicago needed a lift. The lift came in early 1995, when Jordan decided to return to the NBA for the Bulls.
On March 18, 1995, Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release: "I'm back." The next day, Jordan donned jersey number 45 (his number with the Barons), as his familiar 23 had been retired in his honor following his first retirement. He took the court with the Bulls to face the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, scoring 19 points.
Although Jordan had not played in an NBA game in a year and a half, he played well upon his return, which included a game-winning jump shot (against Atlanta in his fourth game back), and a 55-point game against the Knicks on March 29, 1995. The Bulls made the playoffs and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Orlando Magic. At the end of the first game of the series, Orlando's Nick Anderson commented that "He didn't look like the old Michael Jordan," after which Jordan returned to wearing his old number (23). Jordan averaged 31.5 points per game in that series, but Orlando prevailed in six games.