In the wake of the NBA Season Hiatus, ESPN decided to bring the release date of Michael Jordan’s documentary forward. Titled “The Last Dance,” the 10-part series reminded us all of just how spectacular Jordan was.
One of Jordan’s most exceptional abilities was delivering when the game was on the line. Throughout his illustrious career, MJ buried countless shots in clutch moments. Here are Michael Jordan’s top three most clutch shots.
Honorable Mention: Buzzer Beater in Game One of the 1997 NBA Finals vs Utah Jazz
No. 3: Chicago Bulls vs Cleveland Cavaliers: 1989 ECF Game 5
Michael Jordan’s performance throughout The 1989 Eastern Conference Finals was unmatched. His averages for the series were a ridiculous 39.8 points, 8.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and 3 steals per game. He did this while shooting 51.8% from the field. The icing on the cake for MJ on this incredible run is best known as “the shot.” The Bulls were trailing by one point with just a few seconds left. The Cavaliers knew that the ball would be in Jordan’s hands, so he had to fight through a double team to catch the inbound pass. When he did, he dribbled twice to his left and took a leaning shot from the free-throw line to give Chicago the win. The degree of difficulty on this shot was second to none.
No. 2: North Carolina vs Georgetown: 1982 NCAA National Championship Game
Michael Jordan and UNC had a tough matchup in the 1982 National Championship game. They were going up against Georgetown, led by future NBA stars Patrick Ewing and Sleepy Floyd. Jordan was only a freshman in 1982 and was not necessarily the go-to scoring option. However, MJ showed his composure by calmly knocking down the game-winning jump shot from the left-wing. This NCAA Championship was just the second in Tar Heel history (at the time).
No. 1: Chicago Bulls vs Utah Jazz: 1997 NBA Finals Game 7
Heading into game six, Chicago had a 3-2 series lead. However, securing the win would be no easy feat: the Utah Jazz had home court. With 23 seconds to go in the game, the Jazz were up one and had possession. Utah just had to hold onto the ball a little while longer, and they would be forcing a game seven. Then, out of nowhere, Jordan came up behind Karl Malone and stole the ball. MJ crossed half court with around 16 seconds left and waited for the clock to run down. He proceeded to drive right then executed a snatch-back dribble, freeing himself up for a jump shot. With a Championship on the line, Jordan cleanly swished the mid-range jumper. This shot capped off a 45 point night and ended up being his last ever game in a Bulls uniform. For Jordan, there was no better way to end his career with the team that drafted him. He cemented his legacy, winning his sixth NBA Title with a game-winning shot.