NBA legend Michael Jordan reveals the motivation behind his career-high 69-points against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1989-90 season.
There is no denying that MJ had the mentality of an assassin when he stepped on the NBA hardwood. Touted to be the GOAT, Jordan had an umpteen no of iconic performances during his decorated career.
However, one such performance was against the Cleveland Cavaliers on 28th March 1990. Jordan torched a career-high 69-points against the Cavs, winning the match in overtime.
Jordan had a 69-points double-double that night that included an impressive 18 rebounds. The Bulls superstar shot 62.2% from the field and 91.3% from the free-throw line.
— NBAIndia (@NBAIndia) March 28, 2018
Before his incredible 69-points performance, MJ had won 3 consecutive scoring titles and was on his way to winning the 4th one as well.
After winning his 5th championship in 1997, Jordan discussed his career-high performance in detail with Slam Magazine.
Michael Jordan was enraged with the crowd in Cleveland
Most of us are well aware of what MJ means when he says, “I took it personally.” Courtesy his docu-series on Netflix, The Last Dance.
The 6x NBA champion’s career-high performance had an interesting back story to it. During the match, the Cavs fans were seen cheering as Jordan lay on the ground in pain. After, he was fouled hard by Cavs forward Hot Rod Williams.
This didn’t go down well with the Bulls player, who decided to teach Cleveland a lesson about never celebrating a player getting hurt.
(1990) 29 years ago today, Michael Jordan went OFF against the Cavs for a career-high 69 points! 🔥
4 steals. pic.twitter.com/jhgQhyuIUm
— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) March 28, 2019
Jordan elaborated on his performance, “I think the game I had against Cleveland when I had 69, that was strictly off of anger and disappointment,” Jordan said.
He further added,
“Earlier in the first quarter, when I think I got a hard foul from Hot Rod and I, You know, I fell the wrong way, and I was really in pain. And the whole crowd cheered! And that right there pissed me off, because they was more in tune to winning than someone’s health. And that kind of got me fired up. That’s when I went crazy.”
The Bulls superstar scored his career-high 69-points in an overtime 117-113 win against the Cavs. Jordan, who played for 50 minutes during the match, was nothing but efficient.
Also read: “The Bulls Hoped Michael Jordan Would Stay Out so they’d have a better shot at the lottery”: David Letterman Questions Chicago’s Sketchy Management Practices Regarding NBA GOAT’s playing time
Jordan’s way of motivating himself and finding the drive to excel was one of a kind that cannot be replicated. Jordan had five 60-point games in his career during the playoffs.
Michael Jordan’s 60-point games
1986: 63 PTS (22-41 FG, 0-0 3PT) *
1987: 61 PTS (22-39 FG, 0-0 3PT)
1987: 61 PTS (22-38 FG, 0-3 3PT)
1990: 69 PTS (23-37 FG, 2-6 3PT)
1993: 64 PTS (27-49 FG, 1-5 3PT)
* Playoffs pic.twitter.com/1IoAeOTp7l
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 20, 2020