Father’s Day may not have quite the same prestige as Mother’s Day, but it still means a lot to people. Most people use traditional holidays when referencing major sports moments. Christmas. Thanksgiving. Halloween. New Years. However, every so often something special happens on Father’s Day. While plenty of athletes have great stories to tell, none of them can hold a candle to Michael Jordan.
The Chicago Bulls icon saw his basketball career almost end in 1993 when his father James Jordan was tragically murdered. That loss combined with burnout from three-straight championships compelled Jordan to retire. He took up baseball for the next year and a half and looked poised to eventually reach the majors. Then fate intervened. The players strike of 1994 muddied the waters and Jordan, uncertain of his future in the sport, went back to the hardwood.
After a disappointing finish in 1994-1995, the Bulls rampaged through the NBA for a 72-10 record in 1995-1996. After taking a 3-0 series lead in the Finals though, they’d watched that dwindle to 3-2 going back to Chicago. June 16th was the date for Game 6, which just happened to be Father’s Day. Jordan, true to form, finished the job for his fourth championship and easily the most emotional.
“I know he’s watching. This is for Daddy.”
Michael Jordan did what was necessary to pay tribute to his father
By his own standards, the performance in Game 6 was a bit on the modest side. Jordan only had 22 points. However, he did have nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. The Bulls defense suffocated Seattle all game long, holding them to just 75 points. It was the first championship M.J. would win without the presence of his father there, which is undoubtedly why he broke down in tears after the final whistle.
It was another chapter in his amazing basketball story. One Chicago fans cherish to this day. It’s also a reminder that fathers play just as pivotal role in the lives of their children as mothers do.