The absolute greatest of all time!
These days, Michael Jordan is sitting back enjoying the fruits of his labor. He pops up when discussing new ventures, such as his ownership stake as the first Black majority owner of a NASCAR series team and the medical clinic he opened in his home state of North Carolina. You can also find him engaging in charitable endeavors, from hurricane aid to hunger relief. But for those who are old enough to remember the Jordan era, we can never forget his heyday and know that the NBA icon put in a lot of work to be able to sit back and sell tennis shoes. Not only does he deserve all his flowers, but he also deserves for his legacy and the gravity of his contributions to be celebrated by the next generation. That’s why we want to share a roundup of must-see moments from Michael Jordan’s 10 Greatest Games, courtesy of the Bleacher Report.
Prepare to be awed!
63 Points – 1986 Eastern Conference First Round Game 2
Considered the greatest game in Jordan’s illustrious career, Jordan scored 63 points against the Boston Celtics during a time when they were considered the best team in NBA history. At the time, they had a 67-15 record, going 40-1 at home, and the team would birth five Hall of Famers including Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, and Bill Walton. It’s worth mentioning that this 63-point game happened during Jordan’s second season in the league when he had already missed 64 games; the record reflect that he didn’t have one three-point shot in those 63 points.
“The Shot”: 1989 Eastern Conference First Round Game 5
Down by 1 with 3 seconds on the clock, Jordan shoots a buzzer-beater over Craig Ehlo, eliminating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round for an impressive 44 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. I wanna be, I wanna be like MIKEEEEEEEEE!
“A Spectacular Move” – 1991 NBA Finals Game 2
It was Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals and the Chicago Bulls had already lost Game 1 so the pressure was on. Jordan came through clutch scoring 33 points, 7 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and shot 83.3% from the field. What made this game most memorable was Jordan’s switch-hand move mid-air, famously announced by Marv Albert who said, “Oh, a spectacular move by Michael Jordan!”
“The Shrug”: 35 First-Half Points – 1992 NBA Finals Game 1
Jordan in the finals was like watching a unicorn. This was the game where Jordan proved he was capable of anything. While he was never the best three-point shooter, Jordan proved that it was because he didn’t want to, not because he couldn’t. And every time the Bulls positioned him to shoot the three, he made sure he made it. In this particular game, he set two new records: one for most points in the first half, Jordan scoring a whopping 35, and another for making 6 three-pointers in the first half. Jordan finished the game with 39 points total, shooting 59.3 percent from the field with just 34 minutes of playing time. He had every right to shrug. We really miss that type of game time magic!
“The Showdown”: 1993 NBA Finals Game 4
Jordan had more personal best games, but this one was definitely one of the most amazing in NBA Finals history. He scored 55 points, tying for the second-most points scored in the finals and, more importantly, the entire Suns’ roster was unable to touch him. Not only did Jordan lead the Bulls to a sweet victory, but he also left the Suns with a 3-1 record. Not too shabby.
51 Points at Age 38
This is debatable one among sports fanatics but still ridiculously impressive and so it must be included. Jordan had retired and sat out of the NBA for three seasons before returning to the league as a player with the Washington Wizards. After a career-low of six points scored in a loss against the Indiana Pacers, the first time Jordan ever failed to score at least 10 points in a game since his 8-point game in 1986 playing limited minutes while recovering from an injury, Jordan had a lot to prove. In his 31st regular season game with the Wizards, at the age of 38 years old, Jordan scored 51 points! The record was just recently broken by 39-year-old Jamal Crawford before his official retirement from the league.
“The Double-Nickel” Against the Knicks
After being away from the league for nearly two years, this was only Jordan’s fifth game back. The Knicks were second seed in the East and Jordan was known to show out most against the New York team. It was a road game, and Jordan had an amazing night, shooting 55 points and scoring 56.8 percent from the field, landing 21 out of his 37 shots. It was proof that no matter how long he’d been off the bike, all he had to do was get back on for an effortless ride.
This one is special because it’s when Jordan hit his career high in points. Another road game, this time against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and while it went into overtime, Jordan was not going to be outdone. As always, he rose to the occasion even with such a close game, scoring a remarkable 69 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block. They don’t call him the G.O.A.T for nothing!
“The Flu Game” – 1997 NBA Finals Game 5
Of all of Jordan’s unbelievable moments, this one still sits with us because, let’s just be real, it’s hard to see anybody pulling this off. It was Game 5 of the finals series and both teams were tied at two game wins a piece. It just doesn’t get more critical than that in the NBA. The Utah Jazz were expected to win and the crowd was amped and extremely volatile but more importantly, Jordan was diagnosed with a stomach virus just before the game started. Despite his sickness, he suited up and the Jazz was up by 16 early on. Visibly fatigued, Jordan continued to perform, scoring 17 points in the second quarter and chopping the lead to just four. With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, the game was now tied, the Bulls making a remarkable comeback. That’s when Jordan hit a three-pointer to give the Bulls the lead and ultimately, the win over the Utah Jazz, heading back to Chicago with a 3-2 series lead. Jordan finished with 38 points in total, 15 of those coming in the fourth quarter including the game winner. He also played for 44 minutes sick. Wow.
“The Last Shot” – 1998 NBA Finals Game 6
Last on our list is Jordan’s very last game with the Chicago Bulls, which was initially supposed to be his last game in the league. The energy was high and if Jordan was able to pull out this last finals victory, it would’ve solidified the Bulls standing as the greatest dynasty in NBA history, officially securing their sixth title and second “three-peat” in the last eight seasons. More importantly, a win meant that Jordan’s name and legacy was also solidified as the greatest player in NBA history, securing a sixth Finals MVP, a sixth NBA championship, and a second three-peat. Not to mention the Bulls would have went 6-0.
The Bulls came in with a 3-2 series lead over Utah, but this game was in their home court instead of Chicago. Game 7 would’ve also been played in Utah so let’s just say, the gods were not on the Bulls’ side. Jordan was 35 at the time and this was his 331st consecutive game played since coming back to the league from baseball in March 1995. At the time, he was averaging 41 minutes a game and Scottie Pippen was dealing with a back injury that caused him to only play 26 minutes the whole game.
The game ended up tied with less than a minute in the fourth quarter and John Stockton hit a three-pointer to give the Jazz a three-point lead with just 41.9 seconds remaining. Jordan took the court and ended up scoring within 4 seconds, cutting the lead to one. The Bulls were literally praying for impeccable defense and a turnover or missed shot. Jordan then stole the ball from Karl Malone and scored with just 5.2 seconds left, giving the Bulls a one-point lead. The Jazz then missed their last shot, and the Bulls won the game, the title, the championship, and Jordan officially became the greatest to ever do it. He finished off with 45 points, 16 in the fourth quarter and that’s when we realized, there will never be another Michael Jordan!
Absolutely incredible! Our biggest salute and honors go to the greatest player to ever do it, Michael Jordan. Because of him, we can!
Must-see moments from Michael Jordan’s 10 greatest games. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest