In addition to the pistons, which teams contain (contain being a relative term in this case) Michael Jordan? And which ones don't stop him at all? We sat Jordan down at the Multiplex, the Bulls' practice facility in Deerfield, Ill., and quizzed him on just this sort of thing.
Which team have you scored 40 or more against the most often, including playoff games?
"Boston," Jordan answers quickly.
Wrong. Cleveland. Thirteen times.
In your last 16 games against another pretty good Eastern Conference team, you have averaged 40.1 points. In two of the games you scored more than 50 points. Name the team.
"Atlanta," says Jordan.
Which team held you to the fewest points last season? Hint: It's in the Western Conference.
"San Antonio," says Jordan.
No, Seattle: 19.5 per game.
There are four teams, excluding the expansion franchises, against which you ve averaged fewer than 30 points.
"Lakers?" says Jordan.
"Really? O.K., Washington, Dallas, Seattle."
"I don't know the fourth."
You've had a couple of celebrated bad games against this team.
"Oh, Golden State. Got to be Golden State."
"If there's a pattern in some of the teams that stop me," says Jordan, "it's that they make me play defense against a big, physical guard who runs off picks. Washington has Jeff Malone. Dallas has Rolando Blackman. Seattle has Dale Ellis. I can't post these guys up that easily because they're as big and strong as I am. I know Malone's not supposed to be a good defensive player, but he comes after me.
"Golden State? That's simple. It's Manute [Bol, the Warriors' 7'7" center]. He messes everything up.
"I seem to do well against the Cavaliers, because they play me straight up, more or less, and Ron [Harper] plays me real close, challenges me, goes for steals, gambles a lot. I seem able to get around him. Then, too, I'm always charged up when I play them. They're one of those teams—Atlanta is another—that throughout my career we've always been trying to be better than."