MJ’s Most Magic Moments at Madison Square Garden
As shown last night on ESPN’s The Last Dance, a docu-series highlighting Michael Jordan and the historic Bulls of the 1990s, MJ’s final show at The Garden with the Chicago team was one he and fans will remember forever.
It started the second he took the court wearing the original Air Jordans he laced up in 1984 for his debut game at MSG; and he played until his feet were literally bleeding… In the more than decade between those two games, his feet had grown from a size 12.5 to a 13.5. But, it would take more than that to stop him from recording 42 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block in his 43 minutes of play.
So, in a career with the Bulls that spanned 14 years, what other memories do we have of Michael at The World’s Most Famous Arena? Let’s take a look.
What: Jordan’s Debut at The World’s Most Famous Arena
When: November 8, 1984
The rookie from North Carolina put up 33 points in his first contest at Madison Square Garden. This was the first of many matchups at MSG, all culminating in Jordan declaring the New York arena as his favorite place to play.
What: MJ’s First 50 Point Game at Knicks’ Home Opener
When: November 1, 1986
During his storied career, Michael Jordan totaled 31 games where he scored 50 points or more. It happened for the first time two years into his tenure with the Bulls and what better place for this history to be made than at The Garden?
What: Jordan’s Playoffs Dunk on Ewing
When: April 30, 1991
Despite an arduous effort by our Knicks, the 1991 Eastern Conference first round series was a three-game sweep for the Bulls. Noted in episode five of The Last Dance on Sunday was the highly physical approach to the game by New York but that still couldn’t stop Air Jordan, as seen with this monster slam on Knicks’ center Patrick Ewing.
What: MJ’s Double Nickel Game
When: March 28, 1995
As if scoring 50 points in a single game wasn’t a big enough milestone to reach at MSG, Jordan had to outdo even himself and record 55 (hence the term “double nickel”) on the night of March 28, 1995. It’s also worth noting that this occurred five games into a comeback from a brief retirement when MJ was pursuing a career in baseball.
What: His Final Game with the Bulls at The World’s Most Famous Arena
When: March 8, 1998
For Jordan, this game was a display of poetic athleticism at its finest. Not only for his obvious prowess anytime he had the ball in his hands but also because of what he had on his feet: the original Air Jordans he wore when he came to play in New York for the first time 14 years earlier.