March 28, 2015 BY Yale Schalk / 0
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If you’re a Michael Jordan fan, or exhibit even a cursory interest in sports, you remember many of his legendary scoring binges – the 63-point show against the ’86 Celtics, hanging a career-high 69 on the Cavs in ’90 (25 years ago today), an effortless 64 on rookie Shaq and the Magic in ’93. But Jordan’s 55 points against the New York Knicks on March 28, 1995 stands out among the top handful of his defining moments.
Not because Jordan scoring in bunches is anything shocking. He anesthetized everyone to that over his 1984-1993 run with the Bulls. Rather, it’s because Jordan scoring in bunches in his fifth game back after not playing NBA basketball for 18 months is shocking. No one, not even Air Jordan, is supposed to be able to do these things. It defies human reasoning as much today as it did watching that game live, with TNT analysts Bob Neal and Hubie Brown yawping in equal parts disbelief and glee as Jordan executed juke after drive after fadeaway jumper.
Adding to the aura of that performance is the ripple effect from most anything Jordan does. In this case, the aftermath takeaways of that impact are essentially that his dominance embarrassed the Knicks – John Starks by name – just like the good old days, league sentiment flipped from “The Bulls might make some noise” to “So, who’s going to face the Bulls in the Finals,” and his muted Air Jordan 10 signature sneaker was summarily bronzed that night as a classic that endures to its retro release this very day.
Difficult to understand how Jordan, one man as fallible as the next, could do all that in just a couple of hours on a cold Tuesday night but the resulting lesson is much simpler – just enjoy it.
If you have roughly 10 minutes to spare, click play on the video below to sample Michael Jordan’s best highlights from his 55-point Madison Square Garden performance 20 years ago today.
Filed under: Air Jordans