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Michael Jordan, Having Once Bumped A Referee, Lost Nearly $45000 Following A Loss To The Jazz

Nithin Joseph

Michael Jordan, Having Once Bumped A Referee, Lost Nearly $45000 Following A Loss To The Jazz

On February 3rd, 1992 Michael Jordan made a decision that cost the Chicago Bulls an important game against the Utah Jazz. The game in question was a wild triple-OT game that went down to the wire. With the game tied 123-123, Jordan got himself ejected with 0.5 seconds remaining, costing the Bulls the game.

Down 121-123 with 4.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Jordan hit a clutch mid-range shot to tie the game. In the following possession, Jeff Malone brought the ball up the court but was stripped by MJ while attempting a mid-range of his own. However, rather than give the ball to the Bulls, the referees called a foul on His Airness.

This, as described in one United Press International article, led to a protest from Jordan. He was unhappy with the call and obviously incensed. To the point, where he ended up bumping the referee, the very action that led to his ejection from the game.

This led to Malone getting three free throws. One for the technical foul on Jordan and another two for the initial foul as called by the referees. As expected, Malone hit all three, giving the Jazz the win. Following the game, Jordan was given a $5000 fine for the tech and a one-game suspension. As a result, his decision led to him losing a grand total of $45,000, seeing as his per-game checks came up to approximately the $40,000 mark.

Michael Jordan was well-versed with the rules of the NBA, especially when it came to fouls

Despite being ejected from the game, Michael Jordan put on a show. He ended the night with 34 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. On the other hand, the Utah Jazz were led by their superstar Karl Malone, who had an equally impressive game. His 34 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and two steals proved too much for the Chicago Bulls.

In the game that followed, MJ did not participate. This led to the Bulls suffering a 12-point loss at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Losing 114-126, Jordan’s absence clearly had an effect on the team.

However, according to former NBA referee Derrick Stanford, His Airness was actually well-versed with the rules. In fact, he once praised him for knowing what to do in foul situations. He knew how many fouls he had and when the other team was in the penalty,” said Stanford.

Clearly, Jordan kept a cool head on most occasions and was rarely ejected from games. This one-off situation does not define his career as a player. After all, despite being ejected from the game, it had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the season for the Bulls. They still ended up winning their second straight NBA Championship.

About the author

Nithin Joseph

Nithin Joseph


Nithin is a content writer at The SportsRush. Like his favorite athlete Kobe Bryant, the company has helped Nithin elevate his writing skills to a whole new level, especially as an NBA content writer. With over 1500 articles to his name, Nithin's love for the sport knows no bounds. And, as he continues to watch the sport on a daily basis, he hopes his fascination with the NBA, especially the Miami Heat will inspire more and more readers to give the sport a chance. Perhaps, one day making basketball in India as big as it is in the United States.

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