Jordan finishes off the last All-Star Game in Chicago with 40 points in a 138-133 East win. With the East holding a six-point halftime lead, Jordan gave a rousing halftime speech in the East locker room demanding the team win and anyone not serious should leave. Dominique Wilkins, who was second in the slam dunk contest to Jordan that weekend, supported Jordan with 29 points. Jordan won the first of his three All-Star MVP’s. Jordan’s 40 points was two fewer than Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record.
At perhaps the grandest ever All-Star spectacle with the 50th NBA anniversary team in attendance, Jordan records the only triple-double in All-Star history in a 132-120 East win.
On the way to arguably the greatest season in NBA history as he leads the Bulls to 72 wins, Jordan wins his second All-Star MVP with 20 points in 22 minutes on eight of 11 shooting. The East wins 129-118.
In what Jordan promises is his farewell to the NBA in that Bulls final season march, Jordan leads a 135-114 East win with an appropriate game-high 23 points along with eight assists and six rebounds. Jordan gets his third and final MVP.
It’s really, really Jordan’s final All-Star Game. And he was oh so close to leaving with an MVP. He had my vote at the end of regulation. But Kevin Garnett had a huge performance in the two overtimes in the West’s 155-145 win. Jordan ended with 20 points in a game, ironically, coached for the East by Isiah Thomas, whom Jordan faulted in his first All-Star Game in 1985 for an alleged plot to deny Jordan the ball and embarrass him. Jordan ended with a team-high 27 shots.
Jordan probably wouldn’t consider that a great day, but it’s what made him great and why today’s stars cannot compare. Jordan finished last in the three-point shooting contest won by teammate Craig Hodges. But Jordan was not afraid, like LeBron James and the young stars of today, to compete, to risk so-called embarrassment. Jordan took chances to be great, and that is another element that separated him from everyone else. And he never was a good three-point shooter. Though you couldn’t tell the 1992 Trail Blazers that.
Jordan wins his first dunk contest, one of three he would compete in, also winning in 1988 in likely the best ever dunkoff against Dominique Wilkins. Again, Jordan wasn’t afraid to fail, or lose, like Larry Bird regularly challenging all the three-point shooters. It was why the 1980s was the high point of All-Star years.
The West wins in overtime, but Jordan almost beats them on his own with a game high 30 points and leading the East in assists despite starting with Isiah Thomas.
On the way to the Bulls first championship and straight from Detroit where the Bulls finally won there in what they believed was the turning point in that season, Jordan leads the East with 26 points in a 116-114 win. Jordan also leads the East with five assists.
It was that infamous first All-Star weekend, but on Saturday rookie Jordan didn’t back off against the best dunkers in the game and finished second to Dominique Wilkins and ahead of defending champion Larry Nance from the first NBA dunk contest and Julius Erving, who had finished second to Nance in 1984.