There’s just something about the Cleveland Cavaliers that brings out the best in Michael Jordan. Widely known as the greatest basketball player ever, MJ in a Bulls jersey is the image of invincibility. While his last episode with the Washington Wizards wasn’t nearly as magical as the rest of his career, Jordan still managed to provide some noteworthy moments. Especially this one.
On January 31th 2002, Jordan’s Wizards were playing against the Cavaliers. It was a tight contest in which the 38-year old Jordan was carrying the Wizards. Chris Mihm managed to put the Cavs up one point with a layup after an offensive rebound with just 1.6 seconds left on the clock. Everybody in the building knew who would take the last shot, but it didn’t make any difference.
The Cavs didn’t switch correctly on the inbound, leaving Jordan for a fairly easy look from the midrange. MJ took the opportunity to swish it and bring the Wizards a 93-92 victory and finish the game with 26 points, completing the Wizards’ 12-point comeback in the 4th quarter. The crowd was stunned.
It looked pretty similar to his famous buzzer-beater against the Cavs back in 1989 that bounced them out of the playoffs, which is the reason this buzzer-beater got named “The Shot III.” MJ talked about the play and reminisced on his original buzzer-beater versus the Cavs:
“Everybody in the place knew where the ball was going. I’ve had some big shots in Cleveland, and they keep going in. There was no doubt. I wasn’t worried. There’s only two things can happen, you make it or you miss it. I wanted a good look and I got one.”Michael Jordan, ESPN
Jordan just calmly pumped his fist as he got mobbed by his teammates, exactly like in 1989. It was a classic MJ moment, proving that even at 38-years old, he is still the unquestionable go-to guy in the clutch. Just another of many reasons so many people consider him to be the GOAT.