We’ve all done the shrug at some point in our lives. There are just those times when you feel like anything you do is so money that even you can’t believe that you’re that good at that point in time. It might be a string of good columns; a couple of good outings on the golf course; a fire tweet that gets you on the trending page; even consecutive weeks when you got the retro that you wanted on Nike.com. You’ve done the heat check, passed it and moved away to a higher level. It’s that rarefied zone where you can’t be touched and all you can do is laugh at your own good fortune and mock Cliff Robinson on the way out. Wait, what?
Today is the 23rd anniversary of “The Shrug” by Michael Jordan. Like all things MJ does, his version of the shrug is the most popular because of the setting (Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals), the accomplishment (six three-pointers in the first half) and the silliness of it all (he’s not a terrible shooter, Jordan isn’t exactly known for being a three-point threat). He wasn’t exactly perfect from the three-point line during that first half, but he did it with such ease and aplomb that you thought he was every bit as good from long distance as his teammates Craig Hodges or B.J. Armstrong. But unlike those guys, he’s Michael Jordan and he has a flair for the dramatic. So when he nailed the sixth three-pointer, Jordan went past Robinson and looked at commentator Magic Johnson and shrugged, looking amused at how crazy this was. Jordan would finish with 39 points and 11 assists. Oh, and the Bulls won because of course they did.
On Jordan’s feet on that fateful day was the Air Jordan 7 “Charcoal” colorway that would later be called “Raptors” by sneakerheads (cue this GIF). Mitchell and Ness are celebrating the anniversary by releasing a retro of Jordan’s jersey from that day so if you have the kicks, the jersey might be a good idea if you want to coordinate. Here’s some pics of Jordan wearing the 7s during the series. Unlike today’s game where everybody switches out colorways and even sneakers from game to game, MJ kept it pretty consistent.
Pictures courtesy of All Sport, Sports Illustrated and Getty Images.