When we think about the Chicago Bulls and a game-winning shot in the old days, we think about Michael Jordan. However, there was also a moment when Michael Jordan gave us a game winning assist. More importantly, he gave his teammate the opportunity to prove himself with the team’s championship win on the line.
When Michael Jordan made Steve Kerr’s day
It was during Game 6 of 1997 NBA finals that Michael Jordan gave up the chance to have another championship winning shot under his belt. Instead, based on a very thought out plan, he presented Steve Kerr with the opportunity.
No one expected this shot. For the coaches, teammates and fans, it seemed obvious that Michael Jordan would be the one who takes that shot. However, the NBA legend had another plan.
Later on, Jordan said,
“When Phil (Jackson) drew up the play at the end, everybody in the gym, everybody on TV knew it was coming to me. I looked at Steve and said, ‘This is your chance,’ because I knew Stockton is going to come over and help and I’m going to come to you.”
Recently, Steve Kerr was a guest on the Runnin’ Plays podcast. The 54-year-old former Bull revealed his reaction when Jordan told him he would pass the ball to him if John Stockton comes onto him.
“I sh*t my pants,” the now-Golden State Warriors coach said.
Jordan got the ball with around 8 seconds left. He drew a double-team from Stockton and passed to Kerr. Then, Kerr hit a jump shot to put the Bulls ahead by two points with four seconds to go.
Kerr’s shot helped finalize a 90-86 win that gave the Bulls their fifth title in seven years. Additionally, Kerr earned Jordan’s trust along with a game a very under pressure shot.
Before the championship clinching moment, Kerr had played well too. He scored seven points, including a 3-pointer to help the Bulls tie the game in the final minute.
Kerr was a sharpshooter at the time. He made 45 percent of his 3-pointers during the regular season, becoming a dependable scoring threat in the triangle offense.
However, Kerr struggled in the Finals. He made just 30 percent of his shots while entering Game 6. Despite that, he had the confidence to deliver on Jordan’s assist.