It isn’t a moment most people speak of.
It wasn’t during a championship season or a deep playoff run
It wasn’t one proverbial moment of many moments that stand out in Michael Jordan’s illustrious and legendary career. Hell, if you gather a bunch of NBA experts to put together their own power ranking of favorite moments from His Airness, I guarantee you, I double dare you that this game won’t even scratch the surface of favorites.
Why does Game 1 of Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets stand out to me the most?
Let’s consider the background leading up to this game.
Jordan was already fresh off returning to the NBA barely a month after his shocking sudden reitrment in October of 1993. Obviously we’ve all seen and/or read the narratives after in terms of reasons for up and leaving at the very peak of his basketball powers.
Michael Jordan settled in to play baseball within the Chicago White Sox minor league system , fulfilling a commitment he and his father James Jordan made before he was suddenly murdered the same year Jordan abruptly upended the NBA .
What makes this clip even more defining to me was this was what I would call the era of “the mortal MJ”. Or as we basketball pundits call it “#45 MJ”.
People forget. The Charlotte Hornets on paper were the better team. They had homecourt advantage and were the favorites to win this series
Michael Jordan sure as hell did not get that memo.
Even though he couldn’t lift the Bulls to a title on call, the signs were still there that he could dominate a game when he damn well pleased. As was evident by this specific game and quite frankly the duration of this playoff series.