In the postgame locker room after Game 5, Jordan celebrated his first championship with his dad by his side. The Bulls legend was so emotional after becoming a champion that he shocked his teammates.
Michael Jordan shocked teammates by crying
In Episode 4 of The Last Dance docuseries, Will Perdue admitted that he and his Bulls teammates were stunned when they saw Jordan cry after winning the ’91 title because the only emotion they had ever seen from him was anger or frustration.
“Everybody has the picture in their mind of when we beat Cleveland on that last shot, and he’s punching the air, he’s all excited,” Perdue said. “That’s who we knew, the competitive Michael Jordan. The win-at-all-costs Michael Jordan. Sometimes we’d question whether he was human, whether he had feelings. A guy that was totally focused on one thing and one thing only. The only emotion we had ever seen out of him was anger or frustration. We were literally stunned to see those emotions.”
Jordan and Johnson met in the hallway and hugged after the ’91 Finals. MJ was so happy that he had won a title and couldn’t help but cry in Magic’s arms since they were close friends. After years of struggling to get past the Detroit Pistons, Jordan finally became a champion and fit somewhere in the category of Johnson and Larry Bird.
The UNC product, though, wasn’t even close to being finished.
Michael Jordan won six titles in an eight-year span
Jordan led the Bulls to six championships during the ’90s. He went 6-0 in the Finals and won all six Finals MVPs against the Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Utah Jazz.
To three-peat once is incredible. To do it twice is almost impossible. However, the Bulls won three straight titles in ’91, ’92, and ’93 and three more in ’96, ’97, and ’98. The only playoff series Jordan lost during his prime was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Orlando Magic. That was the season His Airness came back from playing baseball and didn’t have his legs underneath him versus a talented Orlando team.
Jordan was devastated after losing to the Magic. However, in classic MJ fashion, he used that setback as motivation.
Bulls went 72-10 following season after losing to Magic
After losing to the Magic, Jordan got back into basketball shape during the summer of 1995 while filming Space Jam. He was so juiced up about reclaiming his throne that he punched Steve Kerr in practice because he was so amped and ready to compete.
The Bulls were on another level during the 1995-96 season. They went 72-10, and Jordan won his fourth MVP. In the Eastern Conference playoffs, Chicago swept the Miami Heat, beat the New York Knicks in five games, and got its revenge against the Magic in the conference finals by sweeping them.
The SuperSonics stood in the way of Jordan completing his revenge season. Although he didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, Jordan averaged 27.3 points versus Seattle and led the Bulls to their fourth title. The All-Star shooting guard was officially back on top of the basketball world, and none of his teammates were surprised to see him cry this time since they knew he would be emotional winning a championship on Father’s Day to honor his late dad.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.