Magic Johnson Details Truth Behind Michael Jordan’s Infamous Shrug

Michael Jordan

Getty Images Michael Jordan (L) of the Chicago Bulls against Shandon Anderson of the Utah Jazz

Michael Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA with both the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards.

During his reign in which he won six NBA championships with the Bulls with the likes of Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman, His Airness did so without the presence of social media.

That’s a blessing right?

You betcha!

Now in 2020, it’s cool whenever MJ’s peers reveal tales of MJ.

Such was the case during NBA All Star Weekend when MJ’s rival, peer and close friend Magic Johnson opened up about a card game that he had with Jordan and his father in the 90s.

During Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Jordan made six 3-pointers in the first half of that game en route to dropping a whopping 35 points by halftime.

When MJ made his sixth and final three pointer in Chicago’s blowout win over the Blazers, Jordan turned to the broadcast table and shrugged his shoulders.

Jordan couldn’t miss in that game.

Little did we know, the night before the Bulls’ Game 1 victory against the Blazers, MJ was on the losing end of a very competitive card game at the hands of his late father, Jeffrey Jordan and Magic Johnson.

“The night before he hit all of them threes against Portland, we’re playing bid whist at his house,” Magic Johnson told me while speaking at McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Event in Chicago, Illinois during NBA All Star Weekend.

“His dad and I, we bust him up, we tore him up, I’m running six nose and five specials on Michael.”

For those keeping score at home: bid whist is a partner card game.

“So we play and I say: ‘Michael I gotta go home, you gotta go home, you’ve got a game.

“He said: ‘nah MJ [Magic Johnson] because Mike was just so competitve. When he loses, he don’t want you to leave.”

Michael Jordan lost that night to Magic Johnson in the card game and the next day Johnson, who was retired from basketball and was calling games as a color commentator on the NBA on NBC, witnessed Jordan’s heroics from the scorers table.


Jordan finished Game 1 with 39 points and he handed out 11 assists in the Bulls’ 122–89 win.

When Jordan scored his sixth three pointer, he shrugged his shoulders, stared at the scorers table and grinned. Magic Johnson says that Jordan’s shrug was directed at him. “He was turning to me,” Johnson recounted.

“He was so hot that night so he owed me a lot because I’m the one he was mad at. That’s why he took it out on Clyde Drexler the next day in the game.”

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments