Michael Jordan turned 50 on Sunday, a fact we’re sure you know by now. We’ve got one more treat for you, though, to remember the GOAT’s birthday by. Today: The 5 best games by Michael Jordan you may have forgotten about.
Over the course of Michael Jordan’s 15-year basketball career, he blessed fans with an unusual amount wealth of iconic memories. These defining moments are so deeply ingrained into the basketball mythos that they are remembered not by date or opponent, but simply by name: “The Flu Game,” “The Buzzer Beater,” “The Shrug,” “The Double Nickle,” “The Playoff Record,” “The Lay-Up,” “The Shot on Ehlo,” “69 Points” and of course, “The Last Shot.”
While it’s unlikely that any basketball fan will forget these moments, as time creeps on and our collective memory fades, we inevitably — and unfortunately — forget some of the other remarkable performance MJ graced us with during his career. (He played 1,072, so it happens.) In an effort to preserve some of these “lost games,” we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best Jordan games you might not remember.
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5. Nov. 30, 1995 at Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies didn’t win a ton of games in their expansion season, but on Nov. 30, 1995, the Grizz appeared to have caught Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on backend of a seven-game roadtrip. With 5:37 remaining in the fourth, the lethargic and banged up (Dennis Rodman was out with an injury) Bulls trailed Vancouver 76-73—that is, until rookie Grizzlies’ guard Darrick Martin made a tragic mistake: he taunted Jordan.
“You ain’t so hot,” he barked, according to David Halberstam in Playing For Keeps. “I can guard you any time I want.”
Martin’s comments were all Jordan needed to motivate him. The process of adding wood to the proverbial fire inside him, as he put it during his Hall Of Fame speech, had been set into motion.
Jordan instantly found his groove, and knocked down five consecutive field goals—a dunk, a pull-up, a driving lay-up, a fadeaway, and an off balance jumper plus the foul shot—in 2 minutes to put the Bulls up three. And if that weren’t enough, he then added a baseline fadeaway, a circus lay-up, a steal and a dunk, pull-up, a driving lay-up, and, to finish the game, another steal and slam. Jordan converted 9 of 12 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 points in the final 6 minutes as Derrick Martin looked on from the bench. Chicago won 94-88.