Imagine having Michael Jordan, the best player ever, trusting you with the most important shot of the season. That’s precisely what happened to Steve Kerr during the 1997 NBA Championship finals, where he left everyone in splits with his iconic game-winner story. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive this unforgettable moment in basketball history.
The 1997 NBA Finals was a showcase of greatness, with Michael Jordan at the forefront of the Chicago Bulls’ quest for another title. MJ’s performances throughout the series were nothing short of extraordinary, reminding fans why he was considered the Greatest Of All Time. He dominated on both ends of the court, leaving his opponents in awe and his fans in sheer admiration. That’s how great he really was.
But amidst all the glory, it was a single shot and a humorous tale that would become a legend in its own right. Michael Jordan was asked about a specific shot he made in traffic during a recent interview, and he decided to clear up any misconceptions about what had actually transpired.
Michael Jordan’s Brilliance: The Moments Leading up to the Shot
With only 25 seconds left on the clock and the game tied, the Bulls called a timeout to strategize. In the huddle, Coach Phil Jackson told Michael to take the last shot, given his reputation for making game-winners. However, Michael Jordan surprised everyone by expressing his discomfort in such situations and suggested going to Steve Kerr instead.
The way Michael Jordan looked at him then, really contemplating telling him to take the shot, gave everyone goosebumps. The trust he had for Steve was sincere, and it spoke volumes about the chemistry and camaraderie within the Bulls’ squad.
1997 NBA Finals
Chicago Bulls vs Utah Jazz
“Hey Steve be ready”
— The Jordan Rules (@Rules23Jordan) April 13, 2023
As historically great as Michael Jordan was physically, it was his mental game that set him apart from the rest. In the documentary ‘The Last Dance’, we see MJ going through his entire thought process as to why he wanted to give Kerr the shot. His ability to read defensive schemes before they even started was truly remarkable. MJ knew exactly where the defenders would be, and he had full confidence that passing to Kerr would be the right play. Sheer brilliance by the G.O.A.T., indeed.
So, when the game was on the line, Michael Jordan trusted Steve Kerr, and Kerr delivered. The shot went in, sealing the victory for the Bulls. With a touch of humor, Steve Kerr remarked, “Well, I had to bail Michael out again“, adding a playful twist to the already legendary story.
The 1997 Bulls squad was a powerhouse, and during that last game, each member got to play a significant role in securing the victory. Jordan with the assist, Kerr with the winner, Pippen with the crucial steal and pass, Toni with the emphatic dunk, and finally, Dennis Rodman doing his magic on defense to contain the opposition.
In the end, it was more than just a game-winning shot; it was a testament to the trust, camaraderie, and greatness that defined the Chicago Bulls during their bullying reign in the 90s. Steve Kerr’s story of that shot continues to inspire and entertain fans, serving as a reminder of the extraordinary era of basketball led by the incomparable Michael Jordan.
As we look back on this historic moment, it’s clear that Steve Kerr’s shot will forever be etched in basketball folklore, showcasing the magic that happens when the best player in the world trusts his teammates. And whenever the story is retold, it never fails to leave us in awe of the greatness that was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.