Video: Michael Jordan’s ‘Petty’ Troll of Horace Grant, Magic Revealed by NBA Rival

Michael Jordan torched the Orlando Magic for 45 points in Game 4 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals as he and his Chicago Bulls finished a sweep, and, to hear Darrell Armstrong tell it, he would have scored more if he wasn’t “petty” and thinking about the previous year.

Jordan returned from baseball in time for the 1995 playoffs, but the Bulls lost to the Magic in the second round.

Orlando’s players carried former Chicago forward Horace Grant off the court in celebration, which didn’t sit well with His Airness.

The Players’ Tribune relayed a story from Armstrong detailing Jordan’s revenge during those 1996 playoffs:

“I never forget this. …They were f–king with Horace Grant,” Armstrong said. “And Horace couldn’t do nothing but put his head down and just laugh. It was on the free-throw line, right in front of us. Jordan, Scottie, was talking s–t. Jordan had two free throws at the end of the game. He hit the first one and missed the second one on purpose.

“And we was like, ‘what the f–k he doing?’ Somebody said, ‘look at the scoreboard.’ He left 45 on the scoreboard. You know Jordan, petty as a motherf–ker. He left 45 for last year on the scoreboard.”

Jordan wore No. 45 when he returned from baseball but quickly switched back to his familiar No. 23 after Chicago lost the 1995 series to the Magic.

All he did from there was lead the Bulls to a then-record 72 regular-season wins in 1995-96 on the way to his fourth career championship. It was also the first title of what would become the second three-peat of his career.

And he enacted some revenge along the way.

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