The basketball gods were teasing Bobby Hansen on this day. It’s a common sight in streetball games to see a guy break a defender’s ankle and then miss an open shot. Mr. Hansen may not look like your traditional streetballer but he sure felt like one after breaking Michael Jordan’s ankles and then missing a wide-open layup back in the 80s.
You are probably thinking Hansen, who only averaged 7 points per game over his career, would be telling his kids and grandkids over and over again about the day he broke MJ’s ankles but he actually has a much better and happier MJ story.
In 1991, Hansen was traded to the Chicago Bulls and served as MJ’s backup. Being the backup to a player averaging over 3o points per game means you aren’t going to get much PT but in Game 6 of the 1992 NBA Finals, trailing by 15 after 3 quarters, the always brilliant Phil Jackson decided to rest MJ and put in Hansen. He responded with a three from the corner, then a steal, and played the Pippen role as Pippen played the MJ role along with BJ Armstrong, Stacey King and Scott Williams. After a 14-2 run, the Bulls were down by only three. MJ came back in for Hanson and the Bulls would end up winning the game and another championship.
After the game MJ said, “I’m glad for Bobby Hansen” and Bobby Hansen was surely thanking those basketball Gods for allowing him to finish his career the way it did.
If by chance you are thinking there’s no other odd MJ/Bobby Hansen story that I could pull out then let me tell you about the 1990 3 point contest.
MICHAEL JORDAN IN THE NBA 3-POINT CONTEST
Most people will only remember this as the Craig Hodges vs Reggie Miller shootout but Craig Hodges’ more popular teammate Michael Jordan did “compete” in that contest. MJ’s first-round score was a 5 which was less than half of the second-worst score in the contest and a third of what Bobby Hansen scored in the first round. Actually that 5 is the worst in contest history and it took 14 years until somebody challenged it but Vlad Rad was able to pull out a 6 in the 2005 contest. Back to Bobby, Hansen would get eliminated in the semi-round but at least he could say he did better than Larry Bird and Michael Jordan on that day.