"The Last Dance": Three things we learned about Michael Jordan's shrug
When Michael Jordan made the motion after connecting on six three-pointers in the first half of Game 1, he created one of the most iconic images in NBA history.
But is there more to the story than what we saw back in 1992? Yes.
In the new docuseries The Last Dance, Michael Jordan and others involved gave some insight into the moment, and here's what we learned.
Michael Jordan was offended to be compared to Clyde Drexler
"Clyde was a threat. I’m not saying he wasn’t a threat, but me being compared to him, I took offense to that." - Michael Jordan
Going into the 1992 NBA Finals, Jordan and Trail Blazers shooting guard Clyde Drexler were the top two players at their position, coming in first and second respectively in MVP voting. The comparison between the players angered Jordan, who felt he was in a tier all alone from Drexler, as well as the rest of the league. He proved just that winning Finals MVP while averaging 35.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game over the series' six games.
A game of cards foreshadowed everything
Magic Johnson, who was covering the games as a sideline reporter for NBC at the time of the 1992 Finals, revealed that he and Jordan had played cards at Jordan's house the night before Game 1.
"He said, 'You know what's going to happen tomorrow, I'm going to give it to this dude,'" Johnson said of Jordan.
“So, he hit that first three, and then here come the second one, the third one -- Michael didn't want anybody to have nothing over him," Magic added.
In Game 1, Jordan finished with 39 points and made six three-pointers.
He was looking at Magic Johnson as he shrugged
Michael Jordan was shrugging towards Magic Johnson, who was covering the Finals for NBC at the time.
"Every time he hit a three, he'd glance over at me at the NBC desk," said Magic in the fifth episode of The Last Dance.
After yet another three-pointer went through the net, Jordan turned to shrug at Magic who was sitting courtside.
"He was like 'I'm killing this dude'," added Magic doing the famous shrug pose.
Magic also confirmed Jordan was turning to him earlier this year.
“He was turning to me,” Johnson said.
Jordan was unstoppable that series
The Bulls won the series in six games to take home their second-consecutive championship.
Michael Jordan took home the NBA Finals MVP averaging 35.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game. He massively outplayed Drexler, who scored 24.8 points per game on 40.7% field goal shooting and 15% from three-point range, although Drexler was dealing with a knee injury at the time that required surgery that offseason.