In his legendary career filled with big games, Michael Jordan never had a night where he scored like this.
Thirty years ago today — March 28, 1990 — Jordan dropped a career-high 69 points on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a Bulls road win.
Jordan’s stat line is insane: 69 points on 23-of-37 shooting, 21-of-23 from free throw line, 18 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Jordan took over when it mattered most, scoring eight points in overtime.
“I didn’t think about being tired because I wanted to win the game,” Jordan said after playing 50 minutes, via NBA.com, “I’ve been in that situation where I’ve scored a lot of points and we lost, and I didn’t want that to happen.
“So I kept pushing myself, kept talking to myself, saying, ‘Don’t stop, don’t stop. Keep going.’ You feel better about the effort when you win.”
The 1990 Bulls, the first year Phil Jackson was coach, went on to win 55 games and Jordan led the NBA in scoring at 33.6 points per game, but as they had for years the Bulls fell short in the playoffs when they ran into the Bad Boy Pistons. It was a year later when Chicago would start its historic run of titles.
Five years later, on March 28, 1995, Jordan would have his legendary double-nickle 55 point game against the Knicks.
The initial report on the NBA resuming with a group stage presented a 20-team scenario. There’d be four groups with five teams each – one from each tier of the current standings:
Tier 1: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers
Tier 2: Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
Tier 3: Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, 76ers
Tier 4: Mavericks, Grizzlies, Nets, Magic
Tier 5: Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs
Teams would play each other team in its group, and the top two finishers in each group would advance to an eight-team tournament (effectively the second round of the playoffs, though without conference splits).
But that format could apparently include four more teams.
In brief, per several sources who have seen the league’s proposal: The NBA could take 20 (or 24) teams and divide them into groups
The simplest way to expand to 24 teams would be adding a sixth tier then forming four groups of six. That’d mean adding:
Tier 6: Suns, Wizards, Hornets, Bulls
The more games the NBA holds, the more money the league will make. But the more people involved, the more risk of someone contracting and spreading coronavirus. It’s a fine line, and the league has sought a middle ground.
Phoenix, Washington, Charlotte and Chicago strike me as too lousy to include. Those teams are well outside the normal playoff race, and there’s no good reason to believe they would’ve made a late push.
In this environment, they might have shot, though. Coronavirus increases variability. Players have had differing access to resources and differing motivation to train during the hiatus. Once play resumes, positive tests could be scattered randomly. Would anyone view the Suns, Wizards, Hornets or Bulls as deserving of a berth in the eight-team tournament? If one of those four teams qualified, that’d probably just show the setup was flawed.
As much as you pray for George family, gotta also pray for the police officer(s) who were involved in this evil. As hard as it is, pray for them instead of hate them…Pray that God changes their hearts.
Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Hall, told ESPN Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020, one of the most star-studded lineups ever which includes Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, will be moved to spring of 2021.
Colangelo stressed there will be separate ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, even though both events will now be held in the calendar year 2021. “We won’t be combining them,” he said. “The Class of 2020 is a very special class and deserves its own celebration.”
I’m so glad each class will be honored separately. Bryant, Duncan, Garnett and the rest of this class – Tamika Catchings, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and Patrick Baumann – deserve their own night.
So does Paul Pierce and whoever gets selected in the next class.
Life can end at any moment. Bryant’s death was a tragic reminder of that. But there’s no specific urgency here. The Hall of Fame should wait until it’s safe to hold a proper celebration of this class… then the next one.
NBA being sued for missed rent payments amid coronavirus shutdown
The NBA has been sued by the owners of the building that houses the NBA Store, who say the league owes more than $1.2 million after not paying rent in April or May.
The league responded by saying it doesn’t believe the suit has merit, because it was forced to close the New York store due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA Media Ventures, LLC is required to pay $625,000 of its $7.5 million annual fee on the first day of each month under teams of its lease with 535-545 FEE LLC, according to the suit filed Tuesday in New York.
The NBA entered into the lease agreement for the property at 545 Fifth Ave. in November 2014.
Counting other fees such as water, the owners of the building are seeking more than $1.25 million.
“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “We have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to work directly with our landlord to resolve this matter in a manner that is fair to all parties.”
The NBA suspended play on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and faces hundreds of millions of dollars in losses this season, even as it works toward trying to resume play in July.