“The photo, shot by Fernando Medina from the opposite baseline, hangs on the wall in my office.
When we look back at great moments in NBA history, we usually use video as a reference. But sometimes, a still photograph can capture much more than video. And Medina’s shot of Michael Jordan’s final points as a Chicago Bull does just that.
The shooting form is perfect. After 44 minutes of playing time in his 103rd game of the season, Jordan got plenty of lift. His body is square, and his left hand guides as his right hand follows through. It’s as confident a stroke as you’ll ever see.
As always, there’s the wristband pulled up his forearm. Black knee sleeve on the calf, with the top folded over to show a stripe of red. Air Jordan XIVs on his feet. The timelessly beautiful red and black road uniform, with the No. 23 in full view.
In front of him is Bryon Russell, unable to recover after slipping to the ground. Whether or not he was pushed there, at this point, he’s helpless.
Karl Malone seems to understand what’s happening. Jeff Hornacek too.
For some reason, Steve Kerr, who grabbed an offensive rebound every 70 minutes he played that season, is crashing the boards.
There are 6.6 seconds left in the game and the shot clock is off. Jordan was giving the Jazz a chance to answer, but he was also giving his team another chance should the shot not fall.”
NB: When, in “N****s in Paris,” Jay-Z says “Take your pick, Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6” this is what he was referring to.