‘F–k This BS’: Former Bulls Teammate of Michael Jordan Remembers the 1989 Shot When He Was in Rival Team

Published 05/08/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
NBA Basketball -Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen during a March 22, 1997 game at United Center in Chicago. (.) (Photo by Darren Whitley/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan was born for greatness, and that was inevitable given his sensational 1984 start in the NBA. The North Carolina product joined the Bulls and uplifted them back to the playoff spot for every year that followed. 

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When MJ ruined his sophomore year with a broken left foot and missed 64 games, he came back stronger than ever in 1986. The Black Cat won back-to-back dunk contests in 1987 and 1988 to show the league that he was just getting started. Then, the following year, in 1989, he pulled something rather historic.

Michael Jordan and ‘The Shot’

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Michael Johnson prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game. 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

Under the coachmanship of Lenny Wilkens, the Cavaliers and their youthful squad were pulling wonders in the late ‘80s. In 1988-89, the Cavs had an impressive 57-25 season and everyone thought that the Cleveland Curse would soon rub off.

However, Michael Jordan had other plans as he further stabbed a hole in Cleveland’s dreams with his one iconic shot.

In Game 4, the Cavs had made it two games apiece against the Bulls to set up an EC first-round final. In Game 5, the last one minute was a complete thriller, a perfect heart-pounding 60 seconds for the bet-makers.

The lead kept switching between the two teams until the Bulls were finally 99-98 ahead. That was when Larry Nance assisted the ball towards Craig Ehlo and a driving layup forced the Bulls into the backseat with 3 seconds remaining.

However, MJ was far from done and an inbound pass towards him later became one of the most picturesque clutch jumpers ever. The Bulls took a 101-100 lead and closed the game with an impossible victory. Take a look at the shot – 

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The Last Dance and the players cursing that sequence

A team fifth in the central division defeating a championship favorite team was something huge. In fact, the Bulls went on to lose the EC finals, but they gained the much-needed confidence out of the postseason.

That was the first time in 14 years that the Bulls had gone that deep into the playoffs, and that worked as a catalyst.

Remembering that game, Ron Harper (Cavs), who five years later joined the Bulls, had expressed, “I got MJ. So the coach calls me, ‘I’m gonna put Ehlo on MJ, and I’m like, yeah okay, whatever, f–k this bu–sh-t.” 

And in The Last Dance, MJ had this to say about the wonderful night –

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The 1988-89 season was a special season for Air Jordan, where he averaged 32.5 points and also a career-high 8 rebounds and as many assists. That season set the ball rolling, and the rest is history.

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Read AlsoWhen Rockets’ Legend Hakeem Olajuwon Obliterated Michael Jordan

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Sourabh Singh

1258 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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