A “Once in a Lifetime” Experience…22 Years Ago

Twenty Two years ago, I got to see Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play in the 1998 NBA Playoffs in Charlotte NC. I decided to go on a whim, drove my pickup truck there from Tennessee. I stopped by Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC on the way for a late lunch. There is something special of being in the Carolinas and eating good BBQ before a ballgame. I got to the Charlotte Coliseum early to try to find a ticket to the game. I stood beside the ticket scalpers for about an hour, they were selling tickets at a very high price which I wasn’t prepared to pay. I think they got tired of having a old boy from Tennessee who drove a pick up truck, hanging out with them. So, finally one of them asked me what was it going to take for me to leave, but I wasn’t going to leave until I had a game ticket. I offered about 20% of what he wanted and he gave me the ticket and told me not to tell anybody near where I would be seating in the arena about how much I paid.

I got into the arena when they first open the doors to see the teams do their pregame warm ups. Michael Jordan was the very first one out there. He went to the foul line and immediately hit over twenty perfect practice shots in a row, nothing but net! My seat was high up in the stands, but I didn’t care, I was just wanted to see the game. By the time the game actually started, the place was packed. I didn’t see an empty seat anywhere. Michael Jordan and the Bulls put on a show that night and won 103 to 89. I usually rooted for the Charlotte Hornets but that night, I was just a basketball fan.The Bulls went on to win their last of 6 NBA Championships which is now called “The Last Dance” and Michael was also named the Most Valuable Player Award winner.

I stayed until most of the arena was almost emptied, just taking it all in what I had experienced that night. By the way, the people sitting around me were bragging that they had paid several hundred dollars for their seats. I didn’t say anything to them, I just sat there and grinned. I am thankful for fun experiences from the past that we can still enjoy. Twenty two years later, I am still smiling, and Michael Jordan is doing okay too. He now owns the Charlotte Hornets… the NBA team he beat that night.

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