Michael Jordan had a rare inefficient night from the field during Game Six of the 1996 NBA Finals.
The 1995-96 season was iconic in many ways for the superstar. The Bulls became the most successful regular-season team in NBA history. The team ended the season with a 72-10 record.
It also marked Jordan’s 4th NBA Finals appearance post his year and a half sabbatical. In the 1995 playoffs, the Bulls were defeated by the Orlando Magic in the eastern conference semi-finals.
However, in the 1996 playoffs, the Chicago team would sweep the Orlando Magic in the ECF, thus getting their revenge.
The Chicago Bulls would go on to proceed to the NBA Finals, where they would face the Seattle Supersonics led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
Michael Jordan had some shooting woes in Game 6 of the 1996 NBA Finals
The Bulls legend is one of the most efficient players ever to grace the NBA hardwood. Jordan was a career 49.7% from the field and 83.5% from the free-throw line.
However, during Game Six of the 1996 NBA Finals, the former DPOY struggled from the field. MJ shot a dismal 26.3% from the field. He was 5-for-19 from the field. Though, MJ’s shooting woes did not affect his free-throw ability that night. The 5x MVP shot 91.7% from the foul line.
The 1996 DPOY, Gary Payton did a tremendous job of defending Jordan in Games 4-6. Payton limited MJ to an inefficient 36.7% shooting from the field in Games Four, Five, and Six.
Michael Jordan, 1996 NBA Finals:
First 3 games: 31.0 PPG, 5.0 APG, 46.0 FG %, 50.0 3-PT %
Last 3 games: 23.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, 36.7 FG %, 11.1 3-PT %
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) May 11, 2020
Nevertheless, the supporting cast of the Bull stepped up, led by Scottie Pippen, who finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Ron Harper, Tony Kukoc, and Dennis Rodman too chipped in during key moments.
The Chicago Bulls would go on to win their 4th NBA title, with MJ being crowned Finals MVP for the 4th time.
The 1996 NBA champions- Chicago Bulls
Jordan won his 4th NBA championship and Finals MVP on Father’s Day. This was very emotional for the superstar, who had not very long back lost his father in a tragedy.
Post winning the championship, Jordan was seen tearing up in the locker room talking about how special it was to win his 4th title on Father’s Day.
“Who would have ever written this season? Who could have predicted this? But things work in mysterious ways. I was blessed to be able to be healthy all season, to bring a championship back to the city of Chicago. It happened on Father’s Day, which made it even more special for me.”
MJ would go on to win 2 NBA titles the following consecutive years making it his second 3-peat. In all his 6 championships, Jordan was crowned the Finals MVP.