Michael Jordan delivered an endless amount of memorable moments during the course of his Hall of Fame career, including one perfectly-timed shrug during Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals. That iconic moment came after Jordan buried his sixth three-pointer in the first half, as he hung 35 on Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers in the first two quarters.
As it turns out, Magic Johnson says he is the one to blame for Jordan’s red hot performance on that night.
During the NBA All Star weekend in Chicago, Johnson revealed that he, MJ and some others had played cards at Jordan’s house the night before Game 1. As the legend goes, Magic and MJ’s pops teamed up to beat Jordan while playing bid whist, which prompted his destruction of the Blazers.
Says Magic (H/T Brandon Robinson):
“The night before he hit all of them threes against Portland, we’re playing bid whist at his house. His dad and I, we bust him up, we tore him up, I’m running six nose and five specials on Michael.”
“So we play and I say: ‘Michael I gotta go home, you gotta go home, you’ve got a game. He said: ‘nah MJ’ [Magic Johnson] because Mike was just so competitive. When he loses, he don’t want you to leave.”
The next night, Magic was calling the game for the NBA on NBC and he had a front row seat as Jordan took out his frustrations from the night before. Says Magic, “He was turning to me. He was so hot that night so he owed me a lot because I’m the one he was mad at. That’s why he took it out on Clyde Drexler the next day in the game.”
Check out his recollection of events leading up to MJ’s infamous shrug below.