There has been a lot of attention this week on Michael Jordan's Bulls career as everyone gears up for the 'Last Dance' documentary about his final season in Chicago. But Thursday is actually the 17-year anniversary of Jordan's final NBA game, back in 2003 when he was playing for the Wizards.
With that in mind, here are Jordan's five best moments from his days in Washington...
The Mercer block
The most memorable play of Jordan's career had some irony in that it wasn't a dunk, a game-winning shot or a midrange fadeaway, it was the type of play Jordan wasn't really known for at all: a block. But this was not your average block, it was a two-handed block/steal where Jordan pinned it against the glass. It also came against the Chicago Bulls, his former team, and he was 38 years old at the time, stuffing a 25-year-old Ron Mercer.
Add it all up and it was an all-time highlight. Blocks like this are extremely rare and you could argue they are among the most disrespectful plays in all of basketball.
Buzzer-beater against the Cavs
Many things had changed for Jordan during his time on the Wizards compared to his time on the Bulls. Though he was still very good, he wasn't the same player. But one thing that didn't change was his ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan's Wizards went 6-1 against the Cavs during his two years in town, he dropped 40 once and also hit a buzzer-beater for old time's sake.
It was dubbed 'The Shot Part II' because he made it just inches away from where he shot over Craig Ehlo back in 1989.
Game-winner against the Suns
Jordan's best shot with the Wizards came against Phoenix on an isolation play with Shawn Marion guarding him. Marion was one of the best wing defenders in the NBA at the time, but Jordan got him off-balance with some old man moves before draining a midrange shot. It was all skill, will and experience against a younger and more athletic opponent. And it helped further Jordan's reputation as a legend in the clutch.
50-piece against the Hornets
Jordan's comeback with the Wizards left behind a list of NBA and franchise records, mostly for points scored at his age. That included his 51 points against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 29, 2001 which gave him the record for the oldest player to score 50 in a game. He was 38 years old. It stood for 18 years before Jamal Crawford dropped 50 at Age 39.
Jordan had 51 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. He shot 55.3 percent from the field on 38 shots and made 9-of-10 from the free throw line. The Wizards won by 17 points.
2003 All-Star Game
Jordan also had another shot against Marion and it may have been his most famous bucket as a Wizards player, even though it wasn't a game-winner. In the 2003 All-Star game, in the closing seconds of regulation, Jordan drove baseline and sank a fadeaway jumper over Marion. It put the East up by two points, though the West would ultimately force overtime and win.
With a national audience watching, Jordan came through in the clutch in a game featuring the best players on the planet at the time. It was yet another example of how he could still hang, even though he was 15 years older than many of his opponents.
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