Like so many great athletes Michael Jordan loved playing in high pressure situations in the most iconic locations. Madison Square Garden
was is the mecca of basketball and Jordan loved playing under the lights of MSG. He always put a show on for the fans anytime he played there, from college to the NBA. The 1997-98 season had the Chicago Bulls going for their second three-peat but the league was on the brink of a lockout. March 8th was the last time the Bulls were scheduled to play the Knicks in New York that season and turned out to be the last time Jordan played there in a Bulls uniform.
Somehow it seemed as though he knew the occasion would be part of his legacy as he broke out a pair of original Air Jordan 1’s for the game. The story is that they were an original pair he found at home while cleaning that were too small by a whole size since his feet grew over the years. The moment was bigger then the discomfort of crushed toes. But just in case something happened to the shoes MJ had a pair of 13’s on standby. He also relieved his feet by taking off the kicks when he was out of the game to stretch out so his feet wouldn’t cramp. The night went well with Jordan scoring 42 points, snagged 8 boards and dished out 6 assists in a 102-89 win. Making acrobatic shots and getting plenty of “Air” few could forget the look of the black Bulls uniforms with the white/red/black Air Jordan 1’s.
From the book “For the love of the Game” by Mark Vancil Michael states, “Although It would have been hard to play for another coach, I’ve always wondered how it would have been to play for New York.” New York fans can only dream.