Michael Jordan once claimed he was the only player who could block a former bad boy’s fadeaway jumper. Jordan, who has his own line of sneakers and is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, is often considered one of the greatest basketball players ever.
The james edwards iii father is a story about how Michael Jordan once claimed he was the only player who could block a former bad boy’s fadeaway jumper.
James Edwards was a member of the Detroit Pistons frontcourt who made it his personal mission to make Michael Jordan’s life as difficult as possible. So, when the two became Chicago Bulls colleagues in 1995, excuse MJ for participating in his typical mental warfare.
Edwards, unlike Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, and several of his other former Pistons teammates, never fully accepted the “Jordan Rules.” But it didn’t stop Jordan from allowing the erstwhile Bad Boy to rule the NBA.
Michael Jordan and James Edwards were on opposing sides of the Bulls-Pistons rivalry at the time, but they eventually became allies.
James Edwards arrived in Detroit in 1988, at a time when the rivalry between the Pistons and the Bulls was just getting started. In a frontcourt that terrified Michael Jordan, he soon made his impact.
During the 1988-89 season, Edwards came off the bench to provide Detroit with some more scoring in the second unit and a different style than Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn’s tough play. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons beat MJ and the Bulls on way to the franchise’s first title.
Following Mahorn’s departure, Edwards was promoted to the starting lineup the following season. He scored 14.5 points per game on average, with his trademark fadeaway jumper accounting for majority of his baskets. The veteran center earned his second title as the Pistons defeated the Bulls in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls, on the other hand, didn’t take long to take over the NBA. They won their first championship in 1991 after defeating Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals, starting off a dynasty run in the 1990s.
Edwards, however, was not one of the Pistons players that memorably walked off the court in the final seconds of Game 4 of the series against Chicago. He never bragged about his teammates’ “Bad Boy” reputation or Bulls-hating mentality.
When Edwards joined with the Bulls and became Jordan’s teammate ahead of the 1995-96 season, he had apparently done enough to remove himself from the ghosts of Pistons past. Nonetheless, Mike thought he’d give the aging center a gentle reminder of his dominance, especially when it came to Edwards’ famous jumper.
Jordan said he was the only player who could stop Edwards’ fadeaway.
Jonathan Daniel/Allsport (L), Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images (R) | Michael Jordan (L) and James Edwards (R) (R)
Signature moves are unique to each player. Tim Hardaway was able to make a one-two crossover in a flash. The skyhook belonged to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The fadeaway was James Edwards’ trademark.
Edwards, a 7-footer, was a big man. When he initially entered the NBA, though, he struggled to match rival centers for strength on the low block. He had no choice except to fire jumpers and pull bigs away from the rim.
Most players in the NBA felt that getting a good contest of Edwards’ fadeaway was almost difficult. Michael Jordan, of course, was an exception.
“Michael used to brag about how he was the only one who could stop my fadeaway; he’d come up behind me and grab it.”
-James Edwards, via Chicago Tribune, 1998
Keep in mind that when James Edwards joined the Bulls, he was 40 years old and in the last season of his career. Michael Jordan didn’t let it stop him from yelling obscenities.
Perhaps Edwards is responsible for part of MJ’s fadeaway success. Money’s second tenure with the Bulls, when he was less explosive and dynamic than he had been in his heyday, became known for it.
In 1996, MJ and Buddha won a title together.
James Edwards’ last NBA season was made memorable thanks to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
During the season, Chicago set a new record by winning 72 games. Jordan was voted MVP in his first full season back from retirement, regaining his position as the league’s greatest player. On their way to the NBA Finals, the Bulls only lost one game before beating the Seattle SuperSonics in six games to earn their fourth title.
On that team, Edwards had a little part. During the regular season, he only made 28 appearances and only played four minutes in the playoffs. Even though he got an earful from Jordan, he told the Chicago Tribune in 1998 that he “liked” the experience.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
Michael Jordan revealed to Stephen Curry that his new hobby helps him maintain his patience on the golf course.
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