June 14th, 1998

June 7, 2011
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There are stories I hear from this gruesome carrying case. Old Timers spin tales of making it all the way to the NBA. Others sermonize of small children throwing them down on pavement and dogs grasping them in their slobbering mouths and piercing their protective leather coat. I’m not sure if I want this or not. Will I make it to the big time or stoop to the level of those frothing flea bags? I do not have time to finish my thought as I hear a zipper and see a sliver of white light above. A man in a shirt that looked like a zebra lifted me out of the bag. The lights blind me and the next thing I know, I hear a whistle and am being tossed in the air.
Two large limbs swing for me but only one makes contact. I am caught and bounded numerous times against the hardwood floor. As I am being exchanged between five men with the same color shirt, I am being yelled at by a sea of fans and a man in a suit. “Shoot”, “Swing it”, Pass”, “C’mon”. Everyone is yelling at me! What am I doing! The Zebra Man blew a whistle and restored order. A single man walked to a painted line about fifteen feet away from an orange circle and heaved me upwards, uncontested. My curiosity of why no one tried to stop him vanished as I started my downfall toward a small orange circle. Will I fit? What if I miss the circle? Will people be mad at me? Does the circle hurt? Swish. Hey that wasn’t too bad. It was actually kind of fun. This fun went on for what seemed like an eternity. The Zebra Man again saved me with his whistle and yelled “Halftime”.
I am exhausted. I rest for a few moments and return to a mélange of perfect passes, emphatic slam dunks, and screaming fanatics. I heard a buzzer sound and everyone seemed to stop. Finally. A mysterious voice from above told me that there will be a five minute overtime to decide the championship. I was a championship ball! Four and a half minutes passed me by just like that. Time for one last shot. I looked up at the magic changing billboard and the two most important numbers were the same. I am being passed around carefully. Both teams want me. One will lose and one will win. Five seconds remain. I am thrown to a man with the number 23. I’m not quite able to make out his last name, I think it started with a “J”. Two seconds left. I am heaved toward the orange circle. I can tell that I’m going to miss so I lean. I lean as much as I can. Swish. Championship.
As the magic billboard flashes a message of “Bulls Win” and I lay under the friendly orange circle, a little boy picks me up gently. He snaked through the sea of fanatics in search of number 23. The little boy tugged on number 23’s shirt and held up a pen. 23 looked down smiled and wrote his name on me. The little boy hugged him and ran, for no one should touch me but him. I looked back and could barely make out the letters “JORDAN” on the back of 23’s shirt. The boy took me home and put me in a case on top of his bed. Here is where I’ve stayed for twelve years and I don’t plan on moving. I am cleaned once in a blue moon and live happily here. Even though I have just been sitting on a shelf for 12 years, I will never forget the night of June 14th, 1998. The night I became a hero and went down in history as the best ball to ever play the game.

On the night of June 14th, Michael Jordan and the Bulls did play The Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Bulls lead the series 3-2 and needed one more win to win it all. With 5.2 seconds left and the score 85-86 (Bulls losing) Jordan hit a three pointer of an inbound pass form teammate Scottie Pippen. The Bulls had won their sixth NBA Championship and Jordan his sixth finals MVP award. In that game, Michael Jordan had 45 points in that game, just one of his many 40+ point games. That shot on that night was and will forever be known as “The Shot”.

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