There’s something about Michael Jordan and January 21st.
The Chicago Bulls legend has 50 points 31 times, ranking second only to Wilt Chamberlain, who is the second-most player in NBA history with 118 points. The New York Knicks in 1997 and the Phoenix Suns in 1989.
Jordan drops 53 points against Suns
MJ always prioritized winning over high-scoring performances. As such, he described his 64-point display against Orlando as “wasted energy” despite it being his second highest scoring match of his career.
After scoring 53 points in a 116-107 loss to the Suns, Mike said something similar.
“Not happy” The Bulls superstar said after his fourth 50-point game in the 1988-89 regular season and 16th of his career.
The Bulls were on a six-game winning streak when they hosted the Phoenix at Chicago Stadium. They were up to 19 early in the game, but the Suns were able to come back and end their five-game losing streak against the Bulls.
MJ had the season’s highest scoring performance along with 14 rebounds and eight assists. But the only thing he cared about was letting the Suns end Chicago’s longest winning streak of the season at the time.
MJ scores 51 against Knicks
As far back as January 21, 1997, Jordan had one more 50-point game in a row. This is his 30th in his career. Only this time he was happy about it.
Not only did the Bulls beat the Knicks 88-87 at home, but Michael got his revenge against then-New York head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Other NBA players trick you into thinking they’re friends before destroying them on the court.
“It was probably a tactical mistake by the Knicks coach to attack Michael in the press. Chicago head coach Phil Jackson said after the game:
MJ finished 18/30 from the field with 51 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. He reached points total with his jumper midrange with 26.7 seconds remaining, then shouted something to Van Gundy.
“Some choice words” When asked what he said to the Knicks coach, MJ said, “I don’t think I made any friends tonight.”