words // Brandon Richard
Widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever live, Michael Jeffrey Jordan celebrates his 49th Birthday today. To honor another year in the life of His Airness, we're taking a look back at the best of his rare on-court birthday performances, which occurred exactly 20 years ago today.
Prior to their 1992 Eastern Conference Finals match-up, the Chicago Bulls hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers in a regular season game for the ages. The two teams, who had already established a rivalry, battled point-for-point with MJ carrying the load for Chicago. On 21-of-32 shooting, Jordan racked up 46 points and added 4 rebounds and 6 assists on the night.
The irony here is that the Cleveland Cavaliers walked away with a 113-112 victory and Michael Jordan didn't even take Chicago's last shot. Phil Jackson drew up a play for Scottie Pippen, which obviously wasn't meant with approval by MJ. He spoke about the game candidly in the 1993 Bob Greene written biography, Hang Time: Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan.
The Bulls would however get the last laugh, beating the Cavaliers 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to their second NBA Championship.
Check out highlights of MJ's 46-point birthday performance below and take note of the gameday kicks - the original "Hare" Air Jordan VII.