Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Real, Tragic Crying MJ: The Father’s Day Championship


“72-10 don’t mean a thing without the ring.”

On June 16, 1996 the Bulls got that ring, completing what is still believed to be (…the Warriors can add to that discussion if they win their Game 6 tonight…) the best season in NBA history. Michael Jordan had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in Chicago’s 87-75 win over the Seattle Supersonics in Game 6 of the Finals. Dennis Rodman had a monster game on the glass, grabbing 19 rebounds (11 offensive) while adding 9 points and 5 assists.

An Emotional Finish

Along with his first title in 1991, championship #4 may have been the most emotionally exhausting triumph of Jordan’s career. It just so happened that their title-clinching victory on June 16th was also Father’s Day. This was the first title Jordan won since his father, James, was murdered in a carjacking in the summer of 1993.

After getting the game ball after the final buzzer sounded, Jordan ran back to the Bulls locker room and collapsed onto the floor, crying. No “Crying Jordan” jokes here, please.

fathers day championship bulls win 4
Michael Jordan clutched the game ball and wept on the floor of the Bulls locker room after the team won their 4th championship, MJ’s first without his father.

Jordan eventually made his way back to the court for the trophy presentation. As the United Center crowd wildly chanted “MVP! MVP!”, a tearful MJ dedicated this championship to his dad.

“I know he’s watching. This is for Daddy.” – MJ

When Bulls fans look back on the 1996 team, especially recently with the Warriors making noise, so much of the talk is centered around it being the “best team ever”. But people often forget its tragically beautiful finish. MJ says he gave baseball a try because it’s something his late father would’ve wanted. By most accounts, he failed. Then he made his comeback, and regained his rightful place on the NBA mountaintop on Father’s Day. All was right with the world.

Happy Anniversary, Michael. You made your daddy, and the city of Chicago, very proud.

fathers day championship bulls win 4
Michael Jordan celebrates championship #2 in 1992 with his father, James.

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