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Michael Jordan’s 30K Points Ceremony: Reminiscing Bulls Legend’s Major Milestone With a Special Honor by NBA

Published 03/05/2024, 12:12 AM EST

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Only seven players in NBA history have secured more than 30,000 points. Nonetheless, Michael Jordan reaching this historic milestone might be the most celebrated one. The Chicago Bulls legend was unable to don the red jersey when he hit the 30k mark, as he was in the finals stages of his career with the Washington Wizards. However, ironically, Jordan reached this milestone when he played against his former team.

The 6x NBA champion became the second fastest player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point mark. Wilt Chamberlin did it in just 940 games, while it took just 20 more for His Airness. While many would have expected Jordan to do it in a fancy way like a slam dunk or a fadeaway, it was sadly just a free throw that tallied MJ’s 30,000th point. However, the celebrations were nothing short of a parade

On January 4, 2002, the game was paused and the entire crowd erupted to give Jordan his standing ovation. Later, the NBA awarded Mike with a huge basketball-shaped silver trophy through the Washington Wizards. The late owner of the famous franchise, Abe Pollin, made a live attendance to present this honor to MJ.

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Not all the players who reached the 30k mark were celebrated like this. In fact, after LeBron James reached the 40,000 point milestone recently, the Los Angeles Lakers did not even take a timeout to give him a moment of appreciation. His wife Savannah James also showed her frustration about it through an Instagram story

Anyhow coming to MJ’s heroics, the historic night did not just end with a free throw. Jordan had more to give! 

How did Michael Jordan seal the game in style with a nasty play?

The Bulls were frustrating the Wizards by not giving up till the very end. In the last minute, Chicago were down 6 points but still had a good chance to take over with Ron Mercer in excellent form. With less than a minute remaining, Jordan’s shot attempt was blocked by Mercer, which gave him an opportunity for a fast break. However, it led to a nasty two-handed block by Jordan, who slammed the ball against the glass, making the crowd stand once again. 

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This cut short the time and it was good enough for the Wizards to seal the game 89-83. A 38-year-old Michael Jordan scored 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists that night. Also notably, he had 45 points, 10 rebounds, and 51 points, 7 rebounds in the previous games, which accelerated his run to the 30,000 mark. This was one of the 5x MVP’s infamous plays from that historic game. Well, it makes sense now why his 30k mark was the most celebrated one. 

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Written by:

Rohan Dharmalingam

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Rohan Dharmalingam is an NBA beat writer at EssentiallySports, who extensively covers the Lakers. Be it a multimillion dollar deal breaking or a classic throwback, Rohan has covered the many themes and formats. Most notably, his coverage received a shoutout from the Purple & Gold icon Shaquille O'Neal and the rap legend 50 Cent, on Instagram.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair