Bulls vs Clippers 97: Michael Jordan tries to defend 7’3 Keith Closs / Brent Barry dunks on Rodman

Michael Jordan is not only arguably the best offensive player ever but many consider the 9x All Defensive First Teamer to be the best defensive player ever too.  But even for a 6’6 Defensive Player of the Year, trying to guard a 7’3 center in the post is going to be a difficult assignment – even if that 7’3 player was Keith “The Boss” Closs who only averaged 4 points a game for the Clippers when they were bad…REAL BAD!

Bad as they were, Christmas almost came 2 days early for the rookie Closs and Clippers in 1997. Closs came off the bench and had 7 points and 6 rebounds in 21 minutes and the Clips only lost by 5 to the Bulls who were on a 4 game winning streak.  As for Jordan, he actually “struggled” on his way to 27 points and 12 rebounds.  I say struggled because he only made 9 of 24 shots.

Speaking of struggling shooting guards, dunk champ Brent Barry only made 1 field goal for LA but it was a pretty spectacular one on Dennis Rodman (25 rebounds).

Back to Boss Closs, he followed up this game with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks against a Shaq-less Lakers (Shaq would score 61 on Closs a couple years later) the next night, but then failed to score in double figures for the rest of the season. He would play two more seasons in the NBA with the Clippers and for the past few years he’s been a popular basketball player in the LA area playing at the Venice Beach and Drew League.


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