Originally Posted by jrong
From what I read, it seems a lot of people underappreciate the final chapter of his career. The only reason the 01-02 Wizards team didn't make the playoffs was because he got hurt (they were 26 - 21 at the time, and he was averaging 25/5/5).
He was actually averaging 25/6/5 (25.1/6.2/5.2 to be precise iirc), and was one of only two players doing so at that point along with TMac.
Some of my favorite moments/games include:
- the ridiculous 43 point game vs. Marion and Phoenix, where he hit some tremendous shots.
- the repeated abuse of RJeff, Kidd, Martin, and Kittles and a few 40+ point games (45, 43, and another 43 point effort in the preseason), one of which included 22 straight points by MJ.
- a couple of games vs. NY, including the one where he had like 39 (including 18-20 in the second quarter after Shandon Anderson started yapping at him) and another one where he DESTROYED Latrell Sprewell and hit the game winner.
- abusing KG on like 4 straight possessions in a game vs. Minny where he scored 38.
- locking up Vince Carter after he switched onto him for the final 3 quarters after VC got off to a hot start with 16 points in the first quarter. I think VC had like 5-7 points on poor shooting the rest of the way. Even the commentators remarked about what a fantastic job MJ was doing on him.
- when he shut down TMac for the first half of a game vs. Orlando. Tracy couldn't locate a shot, and could barely get the ball across halfcourt.
- when he tricked Vince Carter on an inbounds play by turning his back to the ball, then turning around and catching it right as VC was trying to throw it off MJ's back to step inbounds and grab it again.
Total ownage; they were both laughing afterwards, because MJ had played a Jedi mind trick on him.