Doug Collins Revealed What Michael Jordan Said To Him After Scoring 97 Points In 2 Games As A 41-Year-Old: “I Told You I Can Still Play.”

Mary Raleigh
02/10/2023

Michael Jordan is the GOAT for a reason, one of the things that make his case so solid is that many fantastic players went ringless during his era. MJ was an unstoppable force with the Chicago Bulls since he entered the league. Larry Bird referred to him as God during one of his first few playoff appearances. And while MJ won everything as a Bull, there’s a late chapter in his career that isn’t talked about much.

Michael Jordan came out of retirement a second time to play for the Washington Wizards, a decision he regrets himself. This is when he was part-owner of the team and handled basketball operations. His old Bulls coach Doug Collins was leading the team, but they never could do enough to make serious noise in the playoffs. And MJ was no longer the player he had been.

Doug Collins once recounted a story of interacting with Michael during this time in his career, when the Wizards weren’t doing so well.

“When I was coaching in Washington, we were playing the Indiana Pacers. And we were down 25 at the end of the 3rd quarter. And I took Michael out of the game, and I said, ‘Look, Michael, I know you think we can still win this game but we gotta play in 2 nights and if we make a little run, I’ll put you back in.’ But we didn’t.

“And after the game was over I found out that he’d had 8 points in the game and he broke a streak of 800-something games in double figures… He got on the bus and he said, ‘Scoot over.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Do you think I can still play?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, that’s why I’m here.’ And he said, ‘You know, to be my coach, you have to believe that I can play.'”

It wouldn’t have been surprising to hear if Collins had told MJ he was too old to be effective, that was a narrative at the time. But he believed in Michael and that led to something amazing.


Michael Jordan Scored 97 Points In 2 Games And Then Had Something To Say To Doug Collins

Jordan was never one to take anything lying down, and he was quick to prove every time that he can do whatever people think he can’t. So after that Pacers game, MJ would go on to have big games in the next two games and then he had something to say to Collins, who continued his story further.

“51 points at age 41. He came back the next game with 46. And he looked at me and he said, ‘I told you I can still play.” I was absolutely blown away at what this guy could do.”

There is no doubting Michael Jordan’s greatness, every story told about the man just helps grow his myth even further. Even though he wasn’t able to do much in his Wizards days, he could still destroy defenses on any given night. The GOAT is the GOAT for a reason.

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