"If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the best ever. That is what you have to have. The attitude that I’m going to show everybody, I’m going to work hard to get better and better." - Magic Johnson

Happy 55th, Magic.

Hard Work. Dedication.

Aug. 8, 1992 - The ‘Dream Team’ won gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain

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ROSTER: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Chris Mullen, Christian Laettner.

Head coach: Chuck Daly
Assistant coaches: Mike Krzyzewski, Lenny Wilkens, P.J. Carlesimo

The Dream Team was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players. Described by American journalists as the greatest sports team ever assembled, and called by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet”, it defeated its opponents by an average of almost 44 points.

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Who gon’ stop me, huh?

Michael Jordan takes on the Detroit Pistons (Buck Wiliams, Isiah Thomas and Bill Lambeer).

July 12, 1996 - Jordan signed a one-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Bulls

This was the biggest single-season contract ever in American team sports. The one year contract suggested Michael Jordan may leave the Chicago Bulls after the 1996-97 season, or retire. Jordan rewarded the franchise by delivering its fifth league championship.

The following season, Jordan became the only NBA player to sign a contract worth over thirty million dollars in a season. During the 1997-98 season, Jordan earned $33,000,000. He also proved his worth by winning a sixth NBA title for the Chicago Bulls.

June 19, 1984 - One of the best drafts in NBA history produced four Hall of Famers and seven All-Stars

The 1984 draft was the last to be held before the creation of the Draft Lottery in 1985. It is also the first NBA Draft to be overseen by David Stern. The draft is generally considered to be one of the greatest in NBA history, with four Hall of Famers being drafted in the first sixteen picks. Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Michael Jordan are each among the greatest to ever play their respective positions, while Jordan is held to be one of the greatest—if not the single greatest—basketball player in history. The draft dominated a decade with Chicago, Houston, Utah and when Barkley was in Phoenix the elite teams of the decade.

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June 14, 1998 - The Bulls beat the Jazz to win their sixth NBA Championship

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The Chicago Bulls won their sixth NBA Championship. Michael Jordan was named the league MVP for the fifth and final time and the Finals MVP for the sixth time in his career.

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"Work ethic eliminates fear." - Michael Jordan

No fear.

June 12, 1991 - The Chicago Bulls win their first NBA title

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This Finals was Michael Jordan's first NBA Finals appearance, Magic Johnson's last one, and the last NBA Finals trip of the Los Angeles Lakers until 2000. The Chicago Bulls would win the series 4-1. Jordan averaged 31.2 points on 56% shooting, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks en route to his first NBA Finals MVP Award.

As of 2014, the Bulls were the last team to win an NBA championship despite fielding a full roster lacking in championship or Finals experience. None of the Bulls players had logged even a minute of NBA Finals experience prior to this.

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June 5, 1991 - Air Jordan switched the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air for the layup

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Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history to face Magic Johnson and James Worthy and beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one, compiling an outstanding 15–2 playoff record along the way. Perhaps the best known moment of the series came in Game 2 when, attempting a dunk, Jordan avoided a potential Sam Perkins block by switching the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air to lay the shot in. In his first Finals appearance, Jordan posted per game averages of 31.2 points on 56% shooting from the field, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Jordan won his first NBA Finals MVP award, and he cried while holding the NBA Finals trophy.

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June 3, 1992 - MJ set NBA Finals records for points scored in a half (35) and three-pointers made in one half (6)

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Host Chicago Bulls defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan dominated from the beginning, breaking the record for most points in a first half in the playoffs once held by Elgin Baylor (Michael had 35, Baylor had 33). This included six first-half threes (also a record). It was after the 6th 3 that Jordan turned towards the broadcast table and famously shrugged to indicate his surprise, as if to say, “I guess everything’s going in.” Jordan’s shrug became a highlight reel mainstay. This was needed as Portland made their first seven shots and ran to an eight-point lead in the first half, only to go down 29-28 to the Bulls at the end of the quarter. Portland was leading by 1 at 45-44, but then Chicago went on a 22-6 run to grab a 66-51 halftime lead and take control. The game was decided, and the Bulls earned a 122-89 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I started running for the three-point line; it felt like a free throw," Jordan famously said after the game.

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I’ll have the 3-Peat combo:

Celebratory cigar. Cordon Rouge champagne. Bud Light.

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