The year was 1989. Paul Newman was perfecting salad dressing. Bobby Brown was venturing into rap by finding words that rhymed with “proton packs.” Exxon became a major player in the “Turning Marine Life Black” market. These attempts at brand redefinition were largely unsuccessful. However, there was a whole sports franchise that redefined itself at the expense of a competing organization by way of a moment known as “The Shot.” Jordan over Ehlo… via Brad Sellers. This single shot brought the city of Cleveland to its knees. It also propelled the Bulls into the Chicago, and later national, sports spotlight where they would stay for the next decade.
Before this moment, the Bulls were an exciting brand of fringe in Chicago. The Bears, Hawks, Sox and Cubs all had success in the 80’s in more popular sports. Michael Jordan was famous as a scoring machine, not unlike Dominique Wilkins or David Lee Roth. But, “The Shot” was the stuff of instant legend. It was evidence that M.J. and the Bulls were destined for greatness.
Did the visibly coked-out-of-his-mind Doug Collins know the Bulls had arrived as he ran across the court in ecstasy? Did top Gatorade execs look at each other with dollar signs in their eyes accompanied by a Don Ameche-like twinkle? Did Dave Corzine clop his front hoof twice to signal he was aware that he’d be playing still more debilitating basketball that spring? The answer to all of these questions is an unqualified “maybe.”
Which brings us to today. Be on the lookout for this season’s “The Shot.” It will undeniably happen. Maybe it won’t be a “shot” per-se. It could be “The Alley-Oop” or “The Blocking Foul.” Regardless, there will be a defining moment that will be recalled years from now in an effortlessly crafted blog (or whatever they’ll do in the future. Mind Skype maybe?). You will want to see this moment live. I remember where I was during “The Shot” and other great moments in Bulls history. Likewise, you will want to be present when Derrick Rose shrugs after making two three-pointers in the same game! All signs point to dynasty, so watch closely for its trigger.