Prior to this epic moment, Michael Jordan and Dikembe Mutombo had a trash-talk session before the 1997 All-Star Game.
“You haven’t gotten me yet,” said Mutombo.
“I’ll get you one day,” declared MJ.
Fast forward to the game 5 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Playoffs in the same year and Mike’s Chicago Bulls were playing Dikembe’s Atlanta Hawks. On this play, Mike got an offensive rebound before passing to Luc Longley on the post-up. MJ immediately backdoor cut on Ty Corbin on a pass back from Longley. That’s where Mutombo rotated over for the head-to-head matchup. Despite not having the hops from his youth, Michael still jumped higher than the Hawks center, scaling Mount Mutombo on the right-handed poster dunk. Jordan took extra time to staredown Dikembe before giving his opponent his own signature finger wag. Michael remembers everything, including trash-talking challenges.
Michael wore the Air Jordan 12 during this memorable moment. The shoe features a full-length Zoom Air bag that is still being used by Nike and the Jordan Brand today. This is the first use of Zoom Air technology, forgoing Air Max for a bouncier, responsive experience. The large carbon fiber shank plate was carried over from the Jordan 11 to provide lightweight support under your foot.
The black and white “Playoff” colorway in this highlight can be found HERE.
Cover image via Bleacher Report (Twitter)