Michael Jordan Savagely Waved Goodbye at Spike Lee During Playoff Game After Hitting Nail in the Coffin Shot Against Knicks: ‘He Can Have a Safe Flight Back to New York’

Michael Jordan and Spike Lee are close friends. They did several Nike commercials together back in the day and developed a strong bond.

However, Jordan’s friendship with Lee never stopped him from trolling the New York Knicks fan whenever the Chicago Bulls faced the Knickerbockers.

Michael Jordan trolled Spike Lee in 1996 playoffs

The Bulls and Knicks met in the 1996 Eastern Conference semifinals. Chicago won the series in five games, with Jordan averaging 36.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists.

During Game 5, Jordan hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to ice the series. After hitting the shot, MJ waved goodbye to Lee, who was sitting courtside at the United Center: “He can have a safe flight back to New York,” Jordan said postgame about his wave to Lee.

The Bulls won the 1996 championship over the Seattle SuperSonics for their fourth title. Lee watched Jordan win six rings and six Finals MVPs in the ’90s, while his Knicks haven’t won a championship since 1973. New York had the talent to win a few championships during the ’90s, but the team could never get past Jordan.

Michael Jordan never lost a playoff series to the Knicks

Jordan went 5-0 against the Knicks in the playoffs. The only series New York defeated Chicago was the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals when Jordan wasn’t in the NBA. Superman was playing baseball for the Birmingham Barons.

Jordan put up 33.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game against the Knicks in the playoffs. He took pride in beating the Knicks since Lee was their biggest fan, and Patrick Ewing was one of his dearest friends.

Lee and Jordan always jawed at each other during games since the former sat courtside. However, they were friendly off the court and respected each other’s craft. Jordan is arguably the greatest player in NBA history, while Lee is undoubtedly one of the best directors of all time.

Jordan almost made Lee the happiest man in the world in the summer of 1996. The MVP was an unrestricted free agent and came within 30 minutes of signing with the Knicks. However, His Airness re-signed with the Bulls since he loved playing for Phil Jackson and didn’t want to risk playing for Jeff Van Gundy.

Lee was presumably heartbroken when Jordan re-signed with the Bulls instead of coming to New York. However, Black Jesus tried to make it up to Lee in 2015 with a lavish gift.

MJ gave Spike Lee gold sneakers


Michael Jordan Is Only Player to Accomplish Nearly Impossible Feat 4 Different Years, Proving He’s the GOAT Over Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

Jordan gave Lee a pair of golden Air Jordan 6 sneakers in 2015. Lee was given an honorary Oscar for Chi-Raq, and the gold leaf sneakers sit on his mantle at home next to his Oscar.

“Special love shout to my main man Michael Jordan, Larry Miller, and Reggie Saunders at the Jordan Brand for blessing me with these super dope, Air Jordan 6 Oscar edition sneakers,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “These joints are gold leafed. One of a kind.”

Jordan enjoyed beating the Knicks and making Lee’s basketball life miserable. However, he was caring off the court toward his friend.