Quick: What is the significance of March 28, 1990 in NBA lore? Well, when in doubt, it’s best to guess that Michael Jordan—the greatest player of all-time—had a hand in making the date special.
On this day 24 years ago, MJ posted a herculean performance for the Chicago Bulls against Mark Price, Craig Ehlo, John “Hot Rod” Williams and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the 117-113 overtime win, Jordan finished with 18 rebounds, six assists, four steals and a career-high 69 points. He shot 23-of-37 from the field (62.2 percent), 2-of-6 from beyond the arc and 21-of-23 from the free-throw line. The only other Bulls player to score double-digit points in the affair was Horace Grant—who finished with 16.
Despite a lackluster performance from Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who finished with more turnovers (eight) than points (seven), Jordan willed his team to victory with arguably the best regular-season performance of his storied career.
During the course of the 1989-90 season, Jordan averaged 33.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game. His scoring and steals statistics were the best in the league that year. He was named an All-Star, All-Defensive First Team member and All-NBA First Team representative as well.
The Bulls finished the 1989-90 campaign with a 55-27 record under head coach Phil Jackson, but fell to the eventual-champion Detroit Pistons, 4-3, in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Although sports fans are obsessed with making player comparisons, I believe that MJ is still in a class of his own. He’s a five-time MVP and six-time champion. Miami Heat superstar LeBron James comes close in terms of MVP honors (four), while Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is one ring away with five, but neither equates to Jordan in the opposite category.
The comparisons will never stop, but it’s important to remember MJ for what he was: a true basketball icon.