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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April, 2003, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Five magic MJ moments
By Alex Trickett

Michael Jordan wins another most valuable player award
Jordan receives another MVP award

Great performances have been the norm during Michael Jordan's spectacular hoops career.

He has recorded more double-digit games than anyone cares to count, and has repeatedly dazzled with his showmanship and his resolute will to win.

But five magic moments stand out above all.


A promising start:

1984: It was James Worthy's team, but Michael Jordan stamped his class on North Carolina's NCAA win by hitting the jump-shot that beat Patrick Ewing's Georgetown Hoyas.

There were only 15 seconds on the clock when MJ got the ball in a painfully-loud New Orleans Superdome.

But the 19-year-old held his nerve - as he would so many times in the NBA - to drain a 16-footer for a 63-62 victory.


Hand of God:

Larry Bird
Bird: In awe of Jordan

1986: Argentine football ace Diego Maradona was not the only superstar to use a helping hand from God in this sporting year.

Jordan got into the act as well during an epic game against Larry Bird's Boston Celtics in which he scored a play-off record 63 points.

Afterwards, the victorious Bird said in awe: "That was God disguised as Michael Jordan."


Leap of faith:

1988: Chicago had yet to win an NBA title when the All-Star game rolled into town.

But what Jordan served at the Chicago Stadium during that year's slam-dunk contest must have gone a long way towards persuading Bulls fans that fortunes were about to change.

Locked in a breathtaking duel with Dominique Wikins, Jordan needed 49 points out of 50 on his last jam to win the title.

What he did next defied gravity. Taking off from the free-throw line, he "double clutched" in midair before slamming the ball home for a perfect score.


In sickness and in health:

1997: Jordan was not well during game five of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz.

But the great warrior soldiered on scoring 15 of his 38 points in the last quarter to earn Chicago a psychologically-decisive win.

Barely able to stand by the end due to crippling stomach cramps, he needed a helping hand from Scottie Pippen to get off court.


The fitting finale:

Michael Jordan
Jordan: Eyes of a basketball assassin

1998: If it had ended up being his last shot in competitive basketball, there would have been no more apt ending.

It was game six of the NBA Finals (against Utah again) and Jordan arched his back and fired off a game-winning shot with seconds remaining.

Fans had seen it all before - that poise, the confidence and the graceful action - but this shot was special because it won Jordan his sixth - and most likely final - championship.



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