Michael Jordan went 6-0 in the NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls and won all six Finals MVPs. MJ never played in a Game 7 in the Finals and only trailed in a Finals series twice.
Behind Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson, the Bulls defeated the LA Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Utah Jazz (twice) for their six championships in the ’90s. Chicago won six titles in eight years.
Everyone knows how competitive and confident Michael Jordan is. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that His Airness knew the Bulls would beat the Lakers in the 1991 Finals despite losing Game 1 at home.
Michael Jordan went up against Magic Johnson
The 1991 NBA Finals featured Michael Jordan going up against Magic Johnson. The Lakers were favored to win the series since Johnson had five championships and Jordan and the Bulls were playing in their first Finals.
Jordan went off in Game 1 of the series at home, proving he wasn’t nervous in his first Finals. MJ scored 36 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the field and also dished out 12 assists.
Despite Jordan’s masterful game, though, the Lakers won Game 1 by a final score of 93-91. The Bulls had zero answers for James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Johnson, as the trio combined for 63 points.
After the Lakers won Game 1, most pundits were convinced the Bulls would lose the title and Magic Johnson would capture title number six. However, Michael Jordan guaranteed an important person in his life that Chicago would win the series.
Michael Jordan told Tim Grover the Bulls would beat the Lakers after losing Game 1
Michael Jordan’s famous trainer, Tim Grover, told GQ in April of 2020 that MJ knew the Bulls would beat the Lakers in the 1991 Finals despite losing Game 1. Jordan saw everything he needed to see in the first game and knew what adjustments he and the Bulls had to make.
“They lost the first game, and I remember him telling me he goes, ‘We’re winning this series. I saw everything I needed to see.’ Every loss was a learning experience. It was an education thing,” Grover said. “He didn’t beat himself up over it. Michael’s got this great statement he goes, ‘I never lost a game. I just ran out of time.’ “
After losing Game 1 to the Lakers, Jordan and the Bulls won four straight to win the series in five. MJ averaged 31.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 11.4 assists in the five-game series to take home his first title and first Finals MVP.
Most players playing in their first Finals would be nervous and down after losing Game 1. However, Michael Jordan was built differently and had supreme confidence in every situation.
Air Jordan’s NBA Finals numbers are ridiculous
Michael Jordan put up godly numbers in the NBA Finals. He averaged 31.2 points in the ’91 Finals, 35.8 in ’92, 41.0 in ’93, 27.3 in ’96, 32.3 in ’97, and 33.5 in ’98.
Going 6-0 in the Finals is one thing, but to win all six Finals MVPs and never play in a Game 7 speaks to how dominant Jordan was. Black Jesus not only established himself as the greatest basketball player ever, but he prevented several Hall of Famers from winning championships.
Michael Jordan finished his NBA career with averages of 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He won five regular-season MVPs, 10 scoring titles, and played in 14 All-Star games.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.