1993 seems like such a long time ago. I had never sent an email or gone online, not even with an AOL chat room. So it feels like a different world back then, and in many ways it was. But the Michael Jordan championship era was in grave danger, at a critical juncture of the Eastern Conference finals that year.
After winning back-to-back NBA titles in 1991 and 1992, the Bulls did not have home-court advantage through the NBA finals in 1993. The New York Knicks had that, by virtue of finishing three games ahead of the Bulls in the regular season. So if the Bulls wanted to defend their title again, they had to win in New York to do it.
The Knicks had a 27-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden back in 1993. So when the Bulls found themselves in a 2-2 tie with the Knicks heading back to New York for game five of that series, the reality was this: They could either win game five and close it out at home in game six, or lose game five, and take their chances with games six and seven.
The Bulls found a way to win game five, in the most amazing sequence of basketball I’ve ever seen, and never gave the Knicks another chance in game seven. That’s what champions do. Is that what the Blackhawks will do out in California on Monday night? We’ll find out soon enough, but I’ll like their chances a whole lot more if they can be like Mike (and Scottie and Horace and Stacy King).