Former Chicago Bulls point guard John Paxson reveals why superstar Michael Jordan would get away with fouls during his decorated NBA career.
One of the biggest accusations that Michael Jordan faced during his career was the leeway that NBA officials gave him during fouls. The Bulls legend was often seen getting away with calls that would have any other player penalized for it.
Legends such as Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson had often called out the NBA for the selective bias meted out to his Airness. MJ was even given the benefit of the doubt if he was at the receiving end of the foul.
Jordan’s former teammate John Paxson during an interview with Melissa Isaacson of The Athletic in 2017, revealed the reasons why MJ was often let off easily by the officials.
Supervisor Darrell Garretson stated MJ’s fandom and aura as major reasons for the Bulls superstar getting a free ticket.
Former Bulls player John Paxson reveals what Darell Garretson told them regarding MJ getting preferential treatment.
The supervisor of officials Garretson had no qualms about admitting Jordan’s stardom a major reason for him getting away with fouls.
He told us, Look, we all know the fans are here to see the great players like Michael Jordan, so if there’s a play where Jordan and Paxson are together, and there’s a foul and Jordan smacked the guy on the arm, I’m giving the foul to Paxson because the fans don’t want to see Jordan foul out of the game. So I knew where I stood, Paxson said. But that didn’t make me feel any better.
Conspiracy theories regarding the 1997-98 NBA Finals continue to float in the NBA market. One of the biggest theories remains of MJ pushing Byron Russell during his game-winning jumper in the 1998 Finals.
Rising over Byron Russell, Michael Jordan sunk both the winning basket and the Utah Jazz’s collective souls during Game 6 of the ‘98 NBA Finals. Jordan wore a yet-to-release sneaker, the Air Jordan 14, for the special occasion. https://t.co/47n74t3lIv pic.twitter.com/AAaNeUJeGN
— Stadium Goods (@stadiumgoods) November 11, 2019
Another theory would revolve around MJ deliberately pushing John Stockton during Steve Kerr’s game-winner in 1997. However, the theory was brushed aside by Kerr and Scottie Pippen, who said that Stockton had tripped during the play.
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) September 28, 2019
Air Jordan’s aura had the NBA officials smitten as well, indicating that the superstar had probably become bigger than the game itself.