Jordan’s last shot

On an otherwise quiet Sunday evening in mid-June, our family watched a basketball game. It wasn’t just any ol’ basketball game. It was game six of the championship series. The Bulls were playing the Jazz in Utah. And Michael Jordan was on the court.

I remember Pop telling me to watch and remember. He knew this would only come around once for me. And I knew I should trust him on that.

Late in the game, someone drained a jumper, bumping the Jazz ahead with like 40 seconds left on the clock. Jordan knocked the lead down to one with a layup. From there, in order for the Bulls to win, they needed to both stop the Jazz and score.

And that’s where things got crazy.

The Jazz got the ball to Karl Malone down low, but Jordan snuck around and stripped the ball away. Then, on the other end of the court, Jordan pulled one of most clutch moves ever on one of the toughest defenders on the court.

I was nine years old. I still remember feeling, maybe for the first time, the adrenalin rush while watching the final seconds in a huge game like that. The rest of the world watched too.

With five seconds left in the game, Jordan crossed over the defender and sank the game-winning jump shot.

I was nine years old, but I wanted to be a part of that. In that moment, it felt like everyone did. For the first time in history in fact, the NBA Finals gathered more viewers than the MLB World Series. A year later, I started playing basketball.