Oh! A spec-TAC-ular move, by Michael Jordan!"
That was Marv Albert's call on the most famously acrobatic scoring move in the NBA Finals since Julius Erving's under-the-basket reverse layup against the Lakers in The 1980 Finals.
After Magic Johnson powered the Lakers to a Game 1 victory in Chicago with a triple-double, it was Jordan who dominated Game 2 with 33 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Oh yeah, and the Bulls won that game by 21. The Bulls outscored the Lakers by 12 points in the third quarter following a close first half, and Jordan put the finishing touches on the game in a way only Michael Jordan could. Sensing Sam Perkins was going to try and block his dunk attempt in semi-transition, Jordan put his athleticism to the ultimate test in the fourth quarter by switching hands mid-air and kissing a left-handed layup off the backboard.
Jordan's move came as the Chicago Bulls were in the process of capping a big rally (they made 13 straight baskets at one stage) and blowing out the Lakers in the fourth quarter. Jordan missed much of the rally with foul trouble, then returned late the fourth.
The play, known simply as “The Move,” sent the Chicago Stadium crowd and the game’s broadcasting crew into a frenzy. “Oh! A spectacular move by Michael Jordan!” play-by-play announcer Marv Albert yelled. Moments later, when the replay rolled, analyst Mike Fratello couldn’t contain himself either.
Lakers star Earvin “Magic” Johnson also broke down the dunk-turned-layup after the game. “When he came down the lane, he just went one way, put it in one hand, floated about 5 more yards and said, ‘Well, I don’t know’ … and then he went off the glass,” Johnson said.
Lakers failed to win another game in the series and the Bulls secured the franchise’s first-ever NBA title. The Bulls went on to win the next two seasons, beating the Portland Trail Blazers in 1992 NBA Finals and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals.
Some have called it the greatest move of all-time. Others have called it the most overrated. Many others thought it was unnecessary but it was definitely one of the most memorable finals moments of all-time.