Basketball player Michael Jordan won his first championship at age 27 when he played for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984 after a successful college career playing with the Tar Heels at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Jordan played a total of 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He played professionally for the Chicago Bulls and later for the Washington Wizards. Jordan quickly capitalized on his growing success with each amazing victory.
Although Jordan retired in 2003, he is still called one of the greatest athletes of all time. Today, his career continues to be highlighted extensively, including in ESPN’s viral documentary series, The Last Dance, which covers his life on and off the court in detail. During his long and legendary career, Jordan won a total of six championships — three in a row, two different times. Here are the most memorable moments from each championship.
1991: The Move
Throughout his career, Michael Jordan played alongside many Hall of Fame players, including Scottie Pippen. The two led the Chicago Bulls to victory in the 1991 NBA Finals, beating the Los Angeles Lakers. Besides winning the championship, there was one act that stood out the most.
In Game 2, Jordan delivered an incredible performance that is remembered as “The Move.” In mid-air, the megastar switched the ball from his right hand to his left, and ended the play with a layup. The move made the audience and broadcasters go wild. Announcer Marv Albert famously said, “Oh! A spectacular move by Michael Jordan!”
1992: The Shrug Game
In the 1992 NBA Finals, the Chicago Bulls played against the Portland Trail Blazers. Once again, Jordan and Pippen helped the team dominate their opponents. Plus, one of the most iconic moments emerged in Game 1.
Jordan nailed six 3-point shots in the first half of the game. After the sixth ball went through the net, the legendary player jogged down the court, looked at the broadcast crew and famously shrugged. His impressive play surprised not only the crowd, but himself as well.
1993: The Three-Peat and Retirement
In Game 6, John Paxson hit a 3-pointer that secured the “three-peat” for the Chicago Bulls. The third championship win officially cemented the Chicago Bulls as a dynasty in the NBA. The last team to achieve three back-to-back championship titles was the Boston Celtics in the 1960s.
Despite showing great talent as a basketball star, Jordan suddenly ended his basketball career to pursue a career in baseball. That same year, his father passed away. Jordan declared, “I have nothing more to prove in basketball. I have no more challenges that I felt I could get motivated for. It doesn’t have anything to do with my father’s passing, or media pressure or anything other than that I had achieved everything in basketball I could.”
1996: Father’s Day
Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995, rejoining the Bulls and leading them to three additional championships in 1996. He played beside Pippen and another Hall of Fame player, Dennis Rodman. However, this win was different; it was the first time Jordan celebrated a championship title without his father. Coincidently, the last game was on Father’s Day.
As shown in The Last Dance documentary, the victory was an extremely emotional moment for Jordan. After the win, Jordan said, “I can’t even put it into words, on Father’s Day, what this means to me. I know he’s watching. To my wife, to my kids, to my brothers and sisters, this is for Daddy.” Later, he broke down in tears on the floor of the locker room.
1997: The Flu Game
During Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Jordan's iconic “Flu Game” took place. At every pause, he was drooping with his hands on his knees, placing ice packs on his head or drinking fluids. Despite showing flu-like symptoms, the sick superstar played amazingly and recorded 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block.
After the game, Jordan said, “I almost played myself into passing out. I came in and I was almost dehydrated, and it was all just to win a basketball game. I couldn’t breathe. My energy level was really low. My mouth was really dry.” While many fans call it the “Flu Game,” Jordan’s former personal trainer revealed that he actually had food poisoning during the game.
1998: The Last Shot
The 1998 Finals received the highest TV ratings in NBA history. In Game 6, 30.5 million viewers watched the Chicago Bulls defeat the Utah Jazz, clinching their sixth championship title. Jordan also earned his sixth NBA Finals MVP award.
In the final moment of the game, Jordan made his last shot in a Bulls uniform. He hit a 20-foot jump shot, leaving only 5.2 seconds to play. The memorable image of Jordan’s hand in the air as he made the shot marked the ending of an incredible NBA era.