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“Hey, I’m putting my cape back on” – An untold story about Michael Jordan’s return to jersey No. 23 from 45

A former Bulls TV announcer revealed how Michael Jordan made the revelation of his return to No. 23 look like a scene from a superhero movie. 

Michael Jordan decided to wear jersey No. 45 when he reunited with the Chicago Bulls in the middle of the 1994-95 season. After losing to the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of their playoff duel, MJ ditched the 45 and brought No. 23 back, signaling the return of the GOAT.

Indeed, it was an epic night for Jordan and the Bulls, but while most people thought everything happened naturally that night, former Bulls TV announcer Tom Dore shared how “His Airness” orchestrated the cinematic revelation of No. 23’s return from start to finish.

“Before (Game 2) our equipment guy put the 23 jersey in the locker instead of 45. And I guess Michael looked at him as like, ‘It’s time,'” Dore told Columbia Missourian in 2020. “So, he comes over to me and says, ‘Hey, I’m putting my cape back on.’ I knew exactly what he meant. And he says, ‘Which camera is yours?’ So, you know, the guy raised his hand; he put the red light on.”

“Michael said, ‘I’m going to turn after the introduction; I’ll turn and face him, and I’ll pull off my warmup jersey, and you’ll see 23.’ So, I said, ‘Got it, I’ll take care of everything.’ So I kind of warned Chicago on TV, you know, the viewers during the pregame show with some special coming up,” he continued.

Everything played out the way MJ planned it

As an admitted Jordan fan himself, Dore diligently and precisely did what “His Airness” instructed him to do. He also hyped the home viewers by creating a superhero-inspired tagline for the return of No. 23. Looking back, Dore reckoned that it was undeniably a night to remember.

“They finish warmups, the red light comes on, and he turns to face them and rips off his warmup jacket like he was pissed, and you can see the 23,” Dore described. “And I’m hearing screams from Chicago to Milwaukee; you could hear those people so loud. My tagline was, ‘Superman has put his cape back on.’ The crowd was so loud. It was all him, but it was electric through the TV, and he was awesome that night.”

No. 23 had a terrific game

True to form, Jordan lived up to the thrill and excitement of his No. 23 jersey reveal. He scored double digits in the opening quarter and even swatted away Shaquille O’Neal’s shot in the post. Jordan dropped 38 points on the Magic in a very fitting 104-94 victory.