Skip to main content

Jordan Shatters the Backboard in Trieste, Italy (1985)


At the end of the summer of 1985 — NBA Rookie of the year, Michael Jordan, would take a trip to Italy to participate in a Nike-sponsored game in Trieste, the harbor town on what was then Italian-Yugoslavian border.

The friendly game played on August 25th, 1985, featured Italian Liga A's teams Stefanel Trieste and Snaidero Caserta (in white). Jordan was a special guest wearing Stefanel Trieste jersey with #23 on it.

Chicago's young superstar, already known globally for his leaping ability and breath-taking moves, as expected, put on a show. He easily scored 30 points in the friendly contest.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

With his hang time and variety of high-flying moves, 'His Airness,' for an average Italian and European fan, looked just as dazzling as the player who just came from another basketball universe. MJ perfectly embodied what the difference between the NBA and 'The Rest of the Basketball World' back then was.

However, one particular play from that specific game will be remembered by all those basketball fans who were happy enough to witness it live.

With Stefanel on the break, Jordan leaped from just inside the paint, over a surprised defender, for a spectacular dunk, which was so powerful that it shattered the glass backboard into the thousand pieces!

Interestingly enough, a couple of days before Jordan shattered the backboard in Trieste, hundreds of miles south, in the central Italian town of Rieti, Kobe Bryant celebrated his 7th birthday (August 23rd, 1985).

Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is a BN contributor and the author of the book 'Drazen – The Years of the Dragon' which can be found here.

James Harden said that his explosiveness is getting there after it was noticeably absent during his stint with the Sixers last season

James Harden and his quest to regain his explosiveness for the Philadelphia 76ers: "It's getting there"

Harden clearly wasn't himself during his first few months with the 76ers, but the good news is that he believes his explosiveness is getting back to what it used to be

Dirk Nowitzki at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit

"Between practices I had to get tutoring in a separate room" - Dirk Nowitzki used to bring a tutor with him while traveling with Germany's junior national team

Dirk Nowitzki revealed that he had to bring a private tutor with him during his days with Germany's junior national team as he had to play and study at the same time.

Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson

"Are you willing to come back and be a coachable player?"-How Phil Jackson talked to Kobe Bryant before they reunited in 2006

The time Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson spent apart from each other made them realize that they needed each other to accomplish their goals.

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky outearns several NBA players

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky is closer to making a million each year than some NBA players on minimum contracts.


“I know he’s a great locker room guy!”- Ben Wallace believes Darvin Ham will do great things with the Lakers

Darvin Ham and Ben Wallace won a title together and their bond will forever remain tight.

Reggie Miller doing the choke sign

Reggie Miller on talking to New York Knicks fans: 'They love to come up and do the choke sign. They think it’s so cool'

Reggie Miller said most Knicks fans still hate him and they let him know about it by doing doing his iconic choke taunt in 1995.

Michael Jordan more popular than Al Gore, Chelsea Clinton: Sesame Street poll

"I couldn’t do anything!" - Michael Jordan once named the only player he couldn't dominate

Michael Jordan loved the competition and he often dominated his rivals. But shockingly, he wasn't able to do so against one player.