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Chapter 34: 10,000 points

THE EVOLUTION OF MICHAEL JORDAN INDEX

Last chapter: Heightened expectations and early challenges

Struggles to win

The Bulls struggled early in the season despite great performances from Michael Jordan. Michael was still leading the league in scoring, but by Christmas of 1988, after 25 games have been played, the Bulls only had 13 wins.

After a home loss to Cleveland where he scored 43 points, Jordan told reporters that he was worried about the team but that he was still hopeful.

Perhaps those words re-energized the Bulls, and the team won 9 out of the next 11 games, including a 48 point effort by Michael Jordan against the Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.

Here are the highlights of that game.

Jordan shot 17 for 29 from the field, and almost recorded a triple double with 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Dominique couldn’t match Jordan’s performance, and finished the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds.

You can watch the full game in high quality here.

Back to winning

This win started a 6 game winning streak for the Bulls. By the end of it, the Bulls were 22-14, and were back to winning ball games. As February approached, Michael Jordan was inching closer to the 10,000 point mark. And this 53 point effort against the Suns put him within striking distance.

This game was Michael’s highest scoring game of the season. He shot an amazing 20 for 28 from the field, including his first 9 shots, and finished with 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Another all around performance that was becoming all too familiar.

4 nights later on January 25th, 1989, Michael Jordan surpassed the 10,000 career scoring mark during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately I could not find footage from that game. Jordan scored 33 points, and had 12 assists in that game.

The 12 assists may seem high for Jordan, but it was no surprise since Jordan did everything for the Bulls. But no matter how much he did, he still had plenty of critics. They had doubted Michael from the beginning of his career, and they weren’t about to stop now.

Hey guys, what kind of criticisms have you faced and how did you face up to them? I’d like to hear about your experiences.

Next chapter: Michael and his critics

THE EVOLUTION OF MICHAEL JORDAN INDEX

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