On this day 21 years ago, Michael Jordan posts 22P-9R-7A-2S-5TO on 5/19 shooting, getting carried by Dennis Rodman(9P-19R-5A-3S-0TO ) on the way to his 4th championship.
“You’ve got to get back at Jordan,” Payton said. ” You can’t back down on him. If you do, he’s like a wolf, he’s going to eat everything. He knew I wasn’t going to back down. I had to realize or see if he is really about being a dog, about this neighborhood stuff. I went at him. It was just me being me.”
That moment alone underlines the broader disappointment surrounding Seattle’s drop-off the following years. Payton was one of the few players from that era with the brash confidence to fearlessly take on Jordan, who famously lacked contemporary rivals. It’s a shame we only had one Seattle-Chicago Finals.