“The Final Dance,” the ESPN 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, may have a little bit of a Louisville connection when the newest episodes air on Sunday night time. LaBradford Smith, one of many extra adorned guards in Louisville historical past, had a short rivalry with Jordan and it’s among the many highlights within the latest episodes.
Set throughout the 1993 NBA season, Smith’s second within the league, the UofL product produced a profession night time whereas enjoying towards Jordan and the Bulls. A 1992 first-round decide of the Washington Bullets, Smith linked on 15 of 20 shot makes an attempt to attain a career-best 37 factors towards the defending champs. Following Smith’s massive outing, Jordan seized the chance to make use of the Bay Metropolis, Tex., native as motivation and claimed that Smith uttered the phrase, ‘good recreation Mike,’ afterward the massive outing.
Reality is, Jordan would later admit, the interplay by no means occurred. Did not matter, because it nonetheless served as a driving power for a fast response. Dealing with the Bullets within the very subsequent recreation, Jordan vowed to his teammates that he’d match Smith’s 37 factors – within the first half. Previous to tip, because the gamers have been stretching, Smith discovered of Jordan’s declare.
“Rodney McCray and BJ Armstrong, I used to be at heart court docket stretching, they usually was like LA, I hope you bought your relaxation final night time as a result of he stated he’s going to have 37 by half,” Smith recalled while visiting with Kendrick Haskins of Wave 3.
Jordan almost met his objective, dropping 36 factors throughout the opening two quarters and thus giving Smith a spot in Jordan’s prolonged storybook and an ESPN documentary almost twenty years later.
The latest episodes of ‘The Final Dance’ will air on Sunday, Might 10. Two new airings might be broadcast, with episode seven premiering at 9pm, with the eighth episode following at 10pm.
Smith shined for Louisville throughout his four-years (1987-91) enjoying for Corridor of Fame head coach Denny Crum.
The Gatorade Participant of the 12 months as a highschool senior, Smith made a right away influence with the Cardinals. A four-year starter, Smith appeared in 133 video games at UofL, the third most in program historical past. He averaged double-figure scoring every of seasons within the Pink and Black, capping his profession with 1,806 factors. His 32-point efficiency towards Cincinnati (Feb. 1988) as a freshman nonetheless stands as probably the most factors by a freshman in program historical past.
Usually remembered for his scoring, together with many high-flying dunks, Smith excelled in all phases of the sport. His profession 86.6 free throw proportion is tops in class historical past, as his 713 profession assists. He additionally ranks fourth in UofL historical past with 227 steals.
Easy methods to Watch:
Two new episodes of ‘The Final Dance’ will air on Sunday, Might 17.
** 9 p.m. ET | Premiere of ‘The Final Dance’ Episode 9
** 10 p.m. ET | Premiere of ‘The Final Dance’ Episode 10
— to 247sports.com