Jordan's first game at Madison Square Garden was on December 9, 1981. He was a North Carolina freshman playing against the Rutgers. From that point on, he repeatedly said that he loved to play in this arena. He even called it the "Mecca of Basketball".
On March 8, 1998 he played his last game in a Bulls uniform at Madison Square Garden. He wore his Air Jordans from 1984 as a tribute to the fans. In the end, it was another Jordan special.
He finished with 42pts (17-33), 8rb, 6 asts, 3stls and 1 blk.
Here are some post game notes and quotes
NEW YORK From his shoes to his shots, it was vintage Michael Jordan in what may have been his last game at Madison Square Garden.
Jordan, wearing an original pair of red, white and black Air Jordan sneakers from his rookie season, scored 42 points yesterday with a dazzling display of shooting as the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks, 102-89.
"I kinda went retroactive today with the shoes," he said. "Some of the moves seemed to be coming from 1984. It brought back a lot of memories and certainly brought some excitement to the crowd."
Jordan claims to have been cleaning his home with his wife, Juanita, and noticed the sneakers. Even though they are a full size smaller than his normal 131/2 (yes, his feet have grown with his legend), Jordan wanted to make a fashion statement. "I have six pairs of each and every shoe that we put out," he said. "I found some at home so they're originals, not remakes."
Jordan hit 17 of 33 shots, with some of his baskets coming on moves as outlandish as his signature line of shoes were considered back in 1984 when they first came out of the box.
"I played up in the air a lot today, but there was a need to," Jordan said. "Since the all-star game, this was probably the best game we've played over the course of 48 minutes."
''Nothing he does surprised me anymore,'' Starks said of Jordan's amazing display. ''I'm immune. When he gets on a roll he can't be stopped."
As he walked off the floor with 1:03 remaining, the crowd which included the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Wayne Gretzky rose to its feet and applauded.
"It was a coronation for him out there," Jeff Van Gundy said. "I don't know what else you can say. The guy is great."
"The shoes were a big topic of conversation in the locker room," guard Steve Kerr said. "It was the theme of coming full circle. It was on his mind ... I was betting guys he'd take them off at some point. Then, he hit his first four shots."
Actually, Jordan hit four of his first six, but 20 years from now, it will be remembered as a perfect game by the millions who were there. "I couldn't believe it," Kerr said, suggesting Jordan was risking a foot injury. "I thought, 'Is he nuts?' Did you see those things? They looked like pieces of cardboard put together. It's amazing how far the shoe industry has come."
Jordan warmed up with a 17-point first half, but the Bulls trailed 46-43. In his 12-point third quarter, Jordan went into his bag of tricks for a drive on which he got hammered, turned his back to the basket and threw the ball backward over his head and in.
In the fourth quarter, Jordan polished the Knicks off with 13 more points, punctuated by still another drive on which he turned his back and flipped the ball over his head into a basket he couldn't see. That one made Kerr just throw his arms over his head and laugh crazily at the wonder of it all.
"It's so much fun to be a part of this team," Kerr said. "You take the total performance, 42 points, for granted. We see that all the time. But those moves that he does are just so amazing that I find myself cheering just like everybody else does in the stands."
"He is the best player to ever play the game and he proved it again today," said Larry Johnson, who scored 20 points.
''We have this argument within our coaching staff: What is Jordan's greatest talent -- being able to shoot a pull-up jumper with his back horizontal to the floor, or his competitive desire to win?'' Van Gundy said. ''When you put those together, that makes you the best player in the game.''