People were aware of Michael Jordan due to his 1984-85 Rookie of the Year season. The game that arguably put Mike on the map though happened in the 1986 Eastern Conference playoffs.
Michael went on a tear in game 1 in the first round series, but it was game 2 that showed he was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end. For context, the 8-seed Chicago Bulls just squeezed into the playoffs with a paltry 30-52 record, just a game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the other corner, the Boston Celtics were historically good with 67 wins and only 1 home loss the entire season.
Mike put on a show from the start, cooking hall-of-famers in Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and noted defender Dennis Johnson. There was just no stopping Jordan’s quick first step and off-balanced mid-range jumper. The Bulls would end up losing in double OT, but not before Mike dropped 63 on the Celtics.
After the game, Bird gave one of the best quotes in basketball history. Larry Legend told The Boston Globe that it was “God disguised as Michael Jordan” out there. High praise.
The footwear that MJ laced up for this game was the Air Jordan 1.5. Like the name suggests, the shoe takes the leather upper of the Air Jordan 1 and stitches it on top of the Air Jordan 2 sole. This Frankenstein sneaker was made after Michael’s return from a serious foot injury, with Nike wanting to be sure Jordan was comfortable in his kicks. Because of this history, the Jordan Brand alternatively calls the 1.5 the “Jordan 1 The Return”.
The “Chicago” colorway with swapped red laces can be found HERE.
Cover image via Bleacher Report