“The Shrug” – Michael Jordan buries the Portland Trail Blazers with an insane shooting display – #mjmondays
Michael Jordan scoring a lot of points in an NBA game wasn’t the story. It’s what he did. A lot. Remember though, this was 1992, before Stephen Curry, before the pull-up 3-point shot became as normal as coffee with breakfast.
While MJ was the greatest ever, he wasn’t known as an outside shooter, especially in 1992. Entering the 1992 NBA playoffs, Jordan had made 206 regular season 3-pointers for the Chicago Bulls, ever. Last season, Curry made 354 in 69 games. Even the great Larry Bird never made more than 98 3-pointers in a season.
Yes, the game has changed.
That’s what made this so impressive, and so shocking. Watching Michael drain one 3-pointer after another wasn’t normal.
This wasn’t just a random performance, it was personal
Jordan was making a statement. There was no coincidence that Jordan did this against Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers. Clyde “The Glide” was considered nearly Michael’s equal and a rival for the coveted “best player in the game” title.
The 1991-92 season was Drexler’s best scoring season, averaging 25.0 points per game. He was also considered a better shooter than Jordan.
And we know how Michael would respond to someone being considered better than him at anything.
There’s also the way Portland’s Cliff Robinson drops his shoulders after MJ knocks down his last triple. He’s resigned to the fact when Michael wanted to prove a point, there’s nothing anyone could do to stop him. The Blazers were just his latest victim.
The crowd couldn’t believe it, the announcers were stunned, his teammates were shocked and Michael Jordan, he just shrugged. Sometimes you can create a memory that lasts forever, and when you recognize it in the moment, you just shrug and go with it.