Playoff time in the NBA is a particular time of the year that separates excellent teams and players from everybody else. A lot of players understand the importance of playoff games, so often it seems they bring out the best in them when it matters the most. One of these moments happened when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls played against the Washington Wizards in game 2 of the 1997 playoffs.
That game was unique because it featured a genuinely iconic story of Michael Jordan completely taking over the game and imposing his dominance against the opposing team. Jordan did it with style rarely seen among players in any sport, and before the game, he asked who will be in charge of stopping him that night.
Chris Webber, who was a young star on that Wizards team, said he never played against someone who had so much power and, at the same time, did it with so much style.
He’s sitting in the arena on his Ferrari. I think I told somebody this was the only time I let a teammate down. I felt like I threw a teammate under the bus. It’s game two or game three, and we’re playing in their arena, and he’s in the arena smoking a cigar. He’s smoking a freaking cigar before the game and if it’s over. So Juwan and I get off the bus and u..he’s like yo who’s checking me today? And this is when you’re supposed to say, man, shut up man, we about to beat ya’ll and then he went to score 54 points there in Chicago.
Chris Webber, via Dan Patrick Show
Jordan finished the game with 55 points, shooting over 60 percent from the field, making almost any shot that night. Bulls would end up sweeping the Wizards in 3 games, and as you already know, win a championship that year.
After the game, Jordan said he knew he had a good rhythm when shots started falling quickly.
“I just got into that mode and I couldn’t get out.”
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On The Dan Patrick Show, Chris Webber recalls the time he saw Jordan in the arena before Game 2 of the 1997 playoffs. Jordan was smoking a cigar and asking the Bullets, “yo, who’s checkin’ me today?” They didn’t have an answer. He went on to drop 55 ? #JumpmanHistory