Nick Anderson stole the ball from a rusty Michael Jordan wearing #45. Nick Anderson told reporters after the game: “No. 45 doesn’t explode like No. 23 used to. No. 45 is not No. 23. I couldn’t have done that to No. 23.” There was doubt that the Bulls could ever be those Bulls again, that Jordan’s time had passed, and the new generation was about to assert its place in NBA lore. However, Michael Jordan wasn’t ready to relinquish his throne just yet. Brandon re-lives the beginning of the second three-peat.
The media has conditioned us to believe that guys who score 30 points a game, sell jerseys, and generally talk the talk are superstars. That’s why so many fans drool over the Carmelo Anthonys and Kevin Loves, even if they have never had any real NBA success outside of Carmelo’s Nuggets making the 2009 Western Conference Finals. There are guys that fall below the radar, but in reality are superstars and unless you’re a basketball nerd, you’d never really know it. Joakim Noah was one of those guys.
Brandon’s here to examine a legitimate question: Should Kirk Hinrich’s jersey be hanging in the rafters of the United Center?
The Bulls wanted and needed to finish strong and with 8 minutes left to go in the game, the score was 95-71. The Bulls were in control, but something about it still felt uneasy. These were Magic and the Lakers and the Bulls were still largely unproven. It felt like something needed to be done to assert their dominance over the Lakers and for Jordan and the Bulls to make a statement. Then it happened. Relive Michael Jordan’s famous “switch hands layup.”
The Bulls were dominant. Derrick Rose was dominant. I couldn’t believe this was the same guy I had saw in person three days prior in Indianapolis. That guy finished with only 10 points and 7 assists. That guy looked passive and like he was trying to play hurt. But this Derrick Rose dropped 23/9/9 for a near triple double on the 76ers. This Derrick Rose had intensity and looked like he wanted another piece of LeBron James and the Miami Heat. This team looked ready to make that leap and they looked like they were a legitimate championship team. But then it all came crashing down. Brandon revisits that awful day.