Michael Jordan entered the NBA in 1984 as the third overall pick out of North Carolina. Despite making the playoffs in his first six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Jorda didn’t reach his first NBA Finals until 1991, his seventh year in the pros.
Even though he didn’t have a championship, Jordan was still a God-like figure to many people in the late ’80s. In fact, a person who saw MJ every day from 1986 to 1989 compared him to Jesus Christ despite the superstar’s lack of a championship.
Michael Jordan had difficulty getting past the Pistons in the late ’80s
Jordan and the Bulls faced the Detroit Pistons in three consecutive playoff series in ’88, ’89, and ’90. The Bad Boys defeated Chicago in the ’88 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the ’89 Eastern Conference Finals, and the ’90 Eastern Conference Finals. Jordan and Co. took the Pistons to seven games in ’90, but they lost Game 7 in Detroit in what is known as the Scottie Pippen migraine game.
Watching Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas win championships hurt Jordan deep down inside. He was tired of being labeled as a gifted scorer who couldn’t win titles while his peers were successful.
In the summer of 1990, Jordan and his Bulls teammates bulked up and changed their attitude. The added strength allowed Chicago to take more hits from the Pistons, and their maturity mentally helped them become one of the best dynasties in sports history.
Michael Jordan led the Bulls to six titles in the ’90s
After finally getting past the Pistons in the ’91 Eastern Conference Finals, Jordan led the Bulls to six championships during the ’90s with two three-peats. His Airness went 6-0 in the Finals and won all six Finals MVPs.
To begin the dynasty, the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns. Following the tragic murder of his father in the summer of ’93, Jordan retired from the NBA and played baseball in 1994. Chicago made the playoffs during the 1993-94 season but lost to the New York Knicks in the second round sans MJ.
Jordan returned to the Bulls near the end of the 1994-95 season. However, he wasn’t himself physically since he had a baseball body and lost to the Orlando Magic in the second round of the ’95 playoffs. He used that loss as motivation to never lose in the postseason again.
The Bulls went 72-10 in 1995-96, with Jordan winning his fourth MVP Award. The Seattle SuperSonics were Chicago’s opponent in the ’96 Finals and put up a good fight, taking the series to six games. Jordan and Co. defeated Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp’s crew in Game 6 in Chicago to capture their fourth title.
Chicago’s final two championships came against Karl Malone, John Stockton, and the Utah Jazz. Jordan, who never played in a Game 7 in the Finals, prevented his two friends in Malone and Stockton from winning titles.
A Jordan sighting in the ’90s caused people to lose their minds since he was the most popular athlete on the planet and a winner. Despite not being a champion in the late ’80s, though, Jordan was still compared to Jesus Christ.
Doug Collins compared MJ to Jesus Christ
Doug Collins coached Jordan for three years. He saw firsthand how wild people got when MJ was out in public or walking to the team bus.
During one interview, Collins compared him to Jesus Christ. A picture from a Portland paper showed Jordan walking onto the court and children reaching out to touch him. The head coach said it was like people reaching out to touch Christ’s garment in biblical times.
Jordan was larger than life when he played for the Bulls. Heck, he still is despite not being in the limelight anymore. The Charlotte Hornets’ majority governor’s popularity seemingly went to another level following the popular Last Dance docuseries.