By June of 1992, Michael Jordan was solidified. He was coming off his first NBA Championship and eager to defend his title, and he had just been crowned NBA MVP for the third time in his illustrious career. Even still, the Portland Trailblazers were waiting for him in the 1992 NBA Finals and most of the chatter in the media leading into the series was the on-court matchup between Blazers guard Clyde Drexler and Jordan–another opponent gunning for the throne that Jordan had scratched and clawed his way to secure.

“I’m a competitor,” Jordan reiterated in a sit down with NBC’s Bob Costas during the 1992 Finals. “I need something to drive me, in a sense. Every game this season, I felt that someone was trying to take something away from me personally.”

It didn’t take long for Jordan to make a definitive statement and lay claim to the series. In the first half of Game 1, Jordan attacked the Trailblazers with a barrage of three-pointers, draining six in the game’s first 24 minutes. During the 1991-92 regular season, Jordan only attempted an average of 1.3 threes per game, knocking them down at a paltry 27 percent clip. It wasn’t the best part of his game, but on that night, Jordan was unwavering. He kept shooting and they kept going in. After knocking down his sixth, with the crowd in Chicago Stadium whipped into a frenzy, he turned to his good buddy Magic Johnson who was working the game for NBC on the sideline and shrugged. The Bulls won the game 122-89 and would finish off the series in six games. The Bulls would join an elite group of teams to win back-to-back Championships, behind Jordan’s Herculean efforts. Propelling him through this legendary run was the Air Jordan VII, an underrated but important shoe in the Air Jordan lineage.

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