Last night, I was digging through old home movies. I came across a video of a family party at my childhood home in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. On both of our TV’s, a Chicago Bulls game was playing — in the middle of the day — and it was live. The date of this party was Sunday, May 7th, 1989.
I first assumed this Bulls game was nothing more than an unimportant, 31 year-old NBA game. No one in our 1989 family room was particularly glued to the TV or even talking about this game during the home video.
It isn’t until the camcorder makes its way into the living room that I realize this basketball game might be what I’m now hoping it is…
My Dad has the camera and he films two of my uncles, a cousin, and himself watching the game. The Bulls are down by four points. Both of my uncles and my cousin seem to be bummed about this. My Dad asks his brother-in-law, his brother, and his nephew for their predictions on the final outcome of the game. Their outlooks are grim for Da Bulls, but I understand why — In 1989, Michael Jordan had yet to win his first NBA championship.
Watching men of my family back in 1989 view a piece of Americana as it unfolds, without them knowing what they were witnessing or were about to see, was intriguing as all hell for me. Usually, home videos from that era are packed with uneventful conversations with family, or kids playing in the backyard.
My Dad — speaking with the clairvoyance only casino odds-makers and sports talk personalities seem to possess — made his prediction, which was laughed at: “Da Bulls. By one.”
Soon, MJ and my Pops would be having the last laugh. As time ran out in both the game and playoff series, Jordan sank a now iconic buzzer-beater to win and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
The last three seconds of this game and the moments after the horn gave us arguably Air Jordan’s most famous highlight.
Due to Michael Jordan’s impressive, clutch performance, the game ends and something new begins. This was the genesis of Michael Jordan winning big in the NBA. For a long time. Denying many Hall of Famers Finals appearances and rings..
Over the next ten years following “The Shot,” only the Bad Boy Pistons and minor league baseball were able to tame Jordan’s game.
To many, the footage of MJ celebrating high off the court while punching air as hard as his arms can move, has become synonymous with greatness. Many consider this moment a representation for a winning attitude, achieving goals, hard work, and creating your own success.
I can’t say I disagree.
On Sunday, May 7th, 1989, two of my lifelong heroes — my Dad & MJ — were on the same wavelength. One confidently predicted that the unlikely would happen; an hour later, the other made it happen. I’m happy I came across this video. And I’m happy for the part each of them played in making a 31 year-old moment-in-time still seem fresh today.
Especially since as an eight year-old, I completely missed this hardwood classic. I was too busy sitting on the walkway, right outside of my front door, fumbling around with a hockey stick.
P.s. I am usually disciplined in keeping my thoughts to myself if I know they are controversial or have potential to spark a debate. Just not here… Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all-time. There is no convincing me otherwise. I spent my childhood watching MJ’s career while living in Chicagoland as a Bulls fan. I was 21 when Lebron James entered the NBA — I’ve seen his entire career. He isn’t even the second greatest of all-time — Kobe Bryant is. I’ve been saying this about Kobe for years. You might be able to convince me Lebron deserves 2nd place honors, but never first. #kthanxluvyabye
Published: 4/13/2020 documenting 5/07/1989. Copyright © 2020 TheDadaDADiest.com