Bayless was the lead columnist at the Chicago Tribune in 1998, so he was pretty plugged in to the sports scene in town during Jordan's final season with the Bulls. He claims he consistently heard Jordan had stepped away from basketball after the 1993 season because NBA commissioner David Stern had encouraged him to do so. Stern was allegedly so worried about Jordan's very public gambling issues that he wanted the superstar out of the league.
Here's the clip:
Jordan stepped away from the NBA in 1993 after winning his third straight NBA championship and decided to play minor league baseball. Obviously the greatest player of all-time leaving in the middle of his prime is incredibly fishy, but Stern always denied the rumor that it had anything to do with gambling.
This theory will always exist and will go down as one of the all-time sports conspiracy theories.