Michael Jordan turns 51: Memories of the greatest game that His Airness ever played

Michael Jordan turns 51: Memories of the greatest game that His Airness ever played

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Picking the greatest game played by Michael Jordan, who turns 51 today?

That’s like coming face-to-face with Halle Berry, Pam Grier (back in the day, and now), Sanaa Lathan, Gabrielle Union and Beyonce and being forced to take a pick for a dream date.

That’s an impossible selection.

Two weeks ago, Michael Jordan became a father to twin girls. Today, His Airness, the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, turns 51 years.

Is is “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the 1989 Eastern Conference finals?

The 35 first-half points during the 1992 finals against Portland, where he gave “The Shrug?”

The double-nickel at Madison Square Garden in 1995, five games into his first comeback?

Or maybe the game-winning shot in game six of the 1998 NBA finals, when he pushed Utah Jazz defender Bryon Russell aside  and launched a jumper from the top of the key to clinch the championship?

Jordan’s best game, in his mind? He says it was during a practice with the 1992 Dream Team in Monte Carlo when 10 future Hall of Famers went at each other.

Hard.

In an empty gym.

It served as the official changing of the guard in the NBA, an era that shifted from Bird/Magic to Air Jordan. Here’s how Jordan and the members of that team described the game:

And here’s how Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum remembered it: