We’ve all heard the story of how Michael Jordan famously shrugged after making 6 3-pointers in the 1992 NBA Finals. Magic Johnson gives us an inside track.
Michael Jordan had become the predominant force in the NBA by the early 90s. He didn’t make the Finals in 1990 owing to a migraine for Scottie Pippen in Game 7 against the Pistons. This spurred him on to greater individual and team heights as he led the Bulls to a league-best 61-21 record.
Jordan and his Bulls rampaged through the playoffs after that, disposing of the 2-time defending champions in a sweep. The Pistons infamously walked off the court without shaking their opponents’ hands in Game 4. The Finals between Jordan’s Bulls and the Lakers began on a strong note for Magic Johnson. But once the Bulls put Scottie on Magic and made Jordan the default playmaker, the series was curtains. The Bulls took down the Lakers 4-1 and won Jordan’s first ring.
The following year, the Bulls had a tougher run. The Knicks took them to 7 games in the Conference Semis, while the Cavs took 2 games off them in the Conference Finals. They were up against a Blazers team in their second Finals in 3 years.
Michael Jordan told Magic Johnson that he’d ‘tear up’ Clyde Drexler
In his latest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Magic Johnson narrated the backstory of how Jordan made it personal with Clyde Drexler:
“I’m on NBC calling the games. So I’m at his house the night before. He called me, ‘Come on out.’ So I went to his house and we played cards. So we were playing cards and it got to be about 1 a.m. and the game’s the next night, so I said, let me go so you can get some rest. ‘No, you stay here because I’m gonna tear Clyde Drexler up tomorrow.’”
“And he got this look on his face that he wanted to play him right then. So I’m thinking, ‘OK, maybe he just said that.’ So we get to the game and he hits the first three, the second three, the third three. Remember, he’s hitting them in a row. He hit six threes. The last one he hit, he turned and looked and me and said [shrugs] … saying, ‘What did I tell you I was gonna do?'”
“I’m gonna tear Clyde Drexler up tomorrow.”
Magic Johnson shared the inside scoop of Michael Jordan’s iconic shrug and it is awesome https://t.co/sJz8FOYau0
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 4, 2021