Chris Webber reminisces about the time when Michael Jordan smoked a cigar in a Ferrari before knocking out his Bullets from the playoffs.
Michael Jordan has more 50-point games in the playoffs than games with less than 20 points. This should tell you something about the Jumpman – he wasn’t the type to chicken out on the playoff stage.
More often than not, Jordan would be looking for a way to get himself fully psyched. Whether it amounted to inventing an imaginary slight, or just plain old trash-talking, MJ did his best to get his juices flowing.
24 YEARS AGO TODAY
Michael Jordan walked into the Bullets locker room before a playoff game, smoking a cigar & said: “Who’s going to check me tonight?”
MJ then did this in the win:
55 PTS (20 of Bulls last 23)
22/35 FG, 10/10 FT, 1/2 3PT pic.twitter.com/KDMi22jErd
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 27, 2021
And more often than not after that, the Bulls legend would end up taking the W on the night. It was just the way things went. Talking trash to Jordan meant almost certain evisceration of your team and its chances of taking the game.
Kevin Garnett knows that feeling only too well, having goaded a 32-year-old MJ in his 72-10 season. Reggie Miller and Magic Johnson have also felt the full force of vengeance coming from #23. We can now add Chris Webber, Rod Strickland and their Bullets team to that list as well.
Chris Webber on Michael Jordan smoking a cigar in a Ferrari pre-game
After Jordan had rained hell and fire on the Wizards with a 55-point outing in Game 2, his Bulls were in position to complete a sweep of the Bullets. And judging from his pre-game demeanor, as Chris Webber described it, he was totally up for it:
“Game 3, we get off the bus, and Juwan (Howard) is from Chicago and used to work out there. I’ll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari, and Pippen was right there, and they have a cigar lit.”
“We get off the bus, and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he’s the Red Auerbach before the game even started.”
The Bulls took a 1-point victory from the Bullets’ building to advance to the second round of the playoffs.