Bulls

Orlando Magic reveal real story of Michael Jordan No. 12 jersey game

Orlando Magic reveal real story of Michael Jordan No. 12 jersey game

On Valentine's Day, 1990, Michael Jordan attempted the second-most field goal attempts in a regular season game in his career (43), scoring 49 points in 47 minutes in Orlando against the Magic.

And he did it not in his famed No. 23 jersey, but wearing the No. 12.

Why? This is a story that has long been shrouded in mystery. An investigation by Chris Johnson of Sports Illustrated on the game's 25-year anniversary found the most plausible outcome to be that the jersey was snatched from the visitors locker room at Amway Arena some time between morning shootaround and when the Bulls arrived pre-game. There was an arena-wide search for the jersey before tip — including an announcement from the PA system — and the soliciting of fans for a red Jordan Bulls jersey that might fit him, according to Johnson. Nothing was found, and Jordan eventually had to play the game in a nameless, No. 12 threads. Further details are murky.

But the Magic might have just blown the roof off this story (no pun intended):

"That morning, after their shootaround, their locker room was set up — every player's jerseys, shorts, warmups, everything, laid out," Rodney "Sid" Powell, the Magic's Director of Team Operations, said in the video. "The locker room door was dead-bolted, locked, and then we had separate lock that we put on the door with a hasp. So there was only one person with a key to it."

Sounds airtight enough. But when the Bulls arrived for the game at 4:30 p.m., Jordan's No. 23 jersey had vanished.

All of the above, we already knew or could have inferred. But Powell went on to peel another layer back.

"A couple days later, they found out from security that one of their personnel had set up a plan to get the jersey, had actually gone through another locker room, climbed over the ceilings, came through a ceiling tile, grabbed the jersey, put it back in the ceiling," Powell continued. "Planning for, I guess, a few days later to come back and get it after thinking no one would figure it out."

High-level stuff. Although, it doesn't appear the unnamed Magic employee got to keep his piece of stolen memorabilia.

The jersey swap didn't seem to impact Jordan individually too much, but the Magic would go on to get the last laugh that day, winning the game 135-129.

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: NBA, NHL seem close to return, MLB lurks in distance

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: NBA, NHL seem close to return, MLB lurks in distance

Laurence Holmes, David Haugh and Jay Cohen join Kap on a Memorial Day edition of SportsTalk Live.

0:00 - It looks like we’re getting closer to the return of team sports. The NBA is in talks to resume its season at Disney World, while the NHLPA approved a 24-team playoff format.

5:00 - MLB and the players continue to negotiate their restart plan.

13:00 - Sam Smith tells a San Francisco radio station the Michael Jordan lied in “The Last Dance” when he said he would have considered returning.

20:00 - The guys share their favorite non-title clinching moments in Chicago sports history.

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Top 'Last Dance' moments to get you through first Sunday without Michael Jordan

Top 'Last Dance' moments to get you through first Sunday without Michael Jordan

So you’re sitting around Sunday night, missing “The Last Dance.” We get it, we wish it was still on too.

To help us all get through this first week without it, we’ve compiled some of our favorite “Last Dance” stories so that we can remember the good times together.

Whether it’s your first time seeing some of these, or just a fun look back, we hope you enjoy.

Recounting the best quotes from “The Last Dance”

We’ve got Jordan, we’ve got Kobe Bryant, we’ve got Dennis Rodman-- and yes we’ve even got some Carmen Electra for you.

Michael Jordan jamming to different songs takes over Twitter

If there was one thing more fun than simply watching “The Last Dance,” it was talking with your friends and family about “The Last Dance.” Some of the after-show interviews with athletes, coaches and pundits added incredible insight. And sometimes a memelord would create something so fun that you couldn’t help but watch and laugh. This is one of those latter moments.

Rod Thorn: Michael Jordan didn’t ask for Isiah Thomas to be left off Dream Team

One of the biggest beefs in basketball has a light shined on it. But after all this time, there are still conflicting reports as to what happened back in 1992.

Did Utah pizza give Michael Jordan food poisoning and was it intentional?

The “flu game” is one of the most iconic performances in Michael Jordan’s career, but now we’ve learned it wasn’t the “flu game” at all! Certainly one of the most intriguing new wrinkles out of all the details we learned across the series.

Scottie Pippen on Jerry Krause: ‘The greatest general manager in the game’

The beef between Pippen and Krause was well documented, especially early in the series. But by the end even Pippen had to give it up for Krause.

Why Scott Burrell appreciated Michael Jordan's harsh leadership style

Arguably the most emotional moment we saw during Jordan’s interviews was when he described his leadership style with his teammates. It’s clear Jordan pushed the Bulls very hard, and it’s easy to see how it could rub some people the wrong way. But not Scott Burrell.

How Bulls helped Scottie Pippen earn millions more on way out of Chicago

After one early episode of “The Last Dance,” many people on social media were incredulous that Pippen’s long-term contract was never renegotiated considering his important contributions to the team. However our K.C. Johnson set the record straight for how the Bulls made things right with Pippen when he was on his way out of town.

Why running it back would not have yielded the Bulls a seventh title in 1998-99

To finish this post off, we’re going back to K.C. Johnson who tells us why the 1998 title would’ve been the last for the Bulls dynasty, no matter if Jordan, Jackson and co. returned, or not.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.