To this day, Michael Jordan has an aura about him that cannot be explained. Jordan walked away from the game for the last time in 2003 and has limited his public appearances since then. So whenever we get a glimpse of 'His Airness', it is a special experience.
Jordan entered the NBA in 1984 when it was being dominated by the likes of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Both players were young into their careers at the time and had found themselves on iconic teams like the Lakers and the Celtics.
Johnson and Bird's rivalry dominated the 1980s, with both players exchanging championship wins almost every year. On the other side, Michael Jordan was improving with each passing year. While he and the Bulls struggled to make a deep playoff run, Jordan was showing that he was going to be the star of the future.
During Jordan's first encounter with Larry Bird, he scored 63 points against the Boston Celtics, which is the highest number of points by an individual player in a single playoff game. After the performance, Bird said that God was disguised as Michael Jordan and playing against them.
Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird would lead Team USA at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. During the tournament, the trio bonded with each other, which helped them guide Team USA to a gold medal.
But it appears their bonding was also off the court, at least according to this iconic picture. Taken during their stay in Barcelona at the 1992 Olympics, this picture shows Michael Jordan playing ping pong, while Larry Bird sits on the floor drinking beers and having a good time.
As we entered the 1990s, Jordan was ready to take the next step in his career. After overcoming the Detroit Pistons, who had stood in his way for years, MJ would face off against Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA Finals.
After losing Game 1, Jordan and the Bulls went on a 4-0 run to seal the NBA championship. The series was a true passing of the torch moment between Bird and Johnson's generation to Michael Jordan. He would be the new defining star of the league and would go on to establish himself as arguably the greatest of all time.