Glen Rice reflects on one of the occasions that Michael Jordan got the better of him and his Charlotte Hornets in the 1992 NBA playoffs.
There’s perhaps no aspect of MJ’s game more underrated than his ability to read opposing offenses and make defensive plays. The 6’6″ shooting guard had the reflexes and agility of a cat.
This, combined with his ability to maintain balance and jockey on the ball while swiping at ballhandlers made him a defensive pest. He loved to take his opponents on and took pride in his ability to stay committed on the less glamorous end.
Glen Rice talks about how Michael Jordan came him unawares with a stupendous block
Jordan would run into the Miami Heat in the playoffs for the first time in his 8th season. This was only the 3rd season in existence for the expansion team founded in the late 80s.
They’d put together a side built around the strengths of Glen Rice. They also had the likes Steve Smith and Brian Shaw. However, their strengths paled in comparison to the talents of one Michael Jordan.
This was emphasized quite emphatically by MJ through a play that left the 3rd year player dispirited. In Rice’s own words, he was blocked and beaten all ends up by His Airness during game 2 of their 1992 first-round series:
“Michael came from out of the rafters. I had no idea. That’s how quick he was. It wasn’t a double-team. I had a guy on the post. I did my little shake move, let it go.”
“We have woke Michael Jordan up.” — Glen Rice.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) May 11, 2020
“And all of a sudden, I’m like ‘No, … where did he come from?’ That’s what made him amazing. Not only was he that explosive offensively, I mean this guy’s IQ for basketball was above normal.”