Remember the scene on June 12, 1991, in the visitors’ lockerroom at the Great Western Forum? Jordan’s Bulls had just defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 to win the NBA Finals in five games, giving the 25-year-old franchise its first NBA title. As he sat in front of his dressing stall and clutched the championship trophy, his wife Juanita on one side, his father on the other, pandemonium all around, Jordan cried-tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of fulfillment.
“When I came here we started from scratch,” he said. “We started at the bottom and made it to the top. It’s been a long, long seven years, a lot of bad teams, a lot of improvement, step by step, inch by inch. I never gave up hope. I always had faith.”