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Michael Jordan Explains Why He Didn't Push Bryon Russell Before Sinking 'The Last Shot'

Credit: SI

Credit: SI

Michael Jordan's last shot with the Chicago Bulls was one to remember. For real. The GOAT gave his team a one-point lead that would seal the deal for them, winning the Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, giving the sixth titles to the Chicago Bulls.

Jordan steals the ball from Karl Malone, the Bulls are down by one, 10 seconds left on the clock. He goes against Russell, goes right before crossing over to his left, with his left hand making contact with Russell's left thigh. He gets enough space to make the shot, which would give the Bulls the lead and the victory.

That was a great shot, no doubt about it, but it wasn't free of controversy. A lot of people consider MJ pushed off the player who was guarding him during that play, Bryon Russell. Well, that's not the case for MJ, who addressed that sequence and explained why he didn't push off Russell as the man was heading in a certain direction anyway.

“Everybody said I pushed off,” Jordan said in the last episode of his 10-part docu-series 'The Last Dance'. “Bullshit. The man, his energy was going that way, I didn’t have to push him that way.

Jordan has explained why he didn't push Russell, but that is still debatable for a lot of people, who think His Airness made illegal contact with his defender during that play. Well, 22 years have passed since that moment; MJ is still a 6x NBA champion and despite what people may think of that play, that won't change.