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Michael Jordan's , "The Shot" 5-7-1989

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Published on Feb 14, 2013

As a Chicago kid, it was a privilege to be working in Chicago sports media, during the truly Golden Era of the 80's and 90's....Sox and Cubs playoffs for the first time in forever, the amazing '85 Bears, and of course MJ and the Bulls...awesome ! So today, as Michael Jordan turns 50, and AARP drafts him into their ranks, I'd like to share what I consider the greatest shot of MJ's career. Many would say it was the jumper he hit in 1998 vs.Utah, to win ring # 6, his last game as a Bull. But I say it was, "The Shot", he took in 1989 vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even though the Bulls didn't win their first championship until 2 years later, "The Shot" put the world on notice, the Bulls would soon be something special.
It was a best of 5 series, and the Bulls were up 2-1 going into game 4 in Chicago. Jordan virtually guaranteed a win prior to that game, but he missed a key free throw late, and the Cavs escaped forcing a game 5 back in Cleveland....where they held a 38-5 home record.
The game was on a Sunday afternoon, and I flew in that morning and drove straight to the Richfield Coliseum. As was his custom, Jordan would seldom go out for the pre-game team warm-up, so I went to the Bulls locker room, to find him sitting by himself. He asked me to see the Sunday papers I had with me, and asked what the buzz was back home. I told him most media folks gave the Bulls credit for a well played series, but it would be tough to win game 5 on the road, against a good Cavs team. He said, "we're not going to lose, come see me after the game". Ok M, see you then I said. Keep that conversation in mind as hear me lose it, after "The Shot" goes in.
What you're about to see is the final few baskets of a back and forth finish, and a classic shootout between Jordan and a very gutsy Craig Ehlo.This amazing footage was shot by the best sports cameraman I know, Chuck Davidson. Chuck, reporter Rich King, and I sat on the floor, as history played out before us.
Milestone birthdays happen to all of us, if we're lucky. But when they happen to great athletes, it marks time differently. We want to remember the fresh faced kid from North Carolina, not the crusty 50 year old team owner. Michael Jordan was/is far from perfect, none of us are...but for those who paid to watch him play, MJ never took a night off, and brought his best everytime he hit the floor. He remains the best ever, and I consider myself lucky to have witnessed moments like this....Happy Birthday M

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