“He would sneak up behind me and get it”: Michael Jordan was the only player to block James Edwards’ signature fadeaway shot


NBA legend Michael Jordan professed to be the only player to block Pistons center James Edwards’ fadeaway jump shot. Edwards played for Detroit during the Bad Boys era.

Michael Jordan’s rivalry with the Bad Boy Pistons has been covered a zillion times. However, one interesting storyline that missed the headlines was Jordan’s association with James Edwards.

Though Edwards was a part of the Pistons during the time, he associated himself away from the Jordan Rules ploy of the Pistons. The seven-foot center would make his debut in the Motor City during the 1988-89 season, at a time when the Pistons dominated the Bulls.

The Pistons would win back-to-back championships from 1989-90, with Edwards getting a substantial role in the 1990 championship. The Pistons center would average 14.5 PPG on a 49.8% shooting from the field.

Also read: “Young and dumb, I made the mistake of sticking out my tongue in front of Michael Jordan”: Former Warriors’ Head Coach Mark Jackson recalls when he agitated the Bulls’ legend by doing something stupid

Nonetheless, the Bulls would bounce back with MJ leading from the forefront, sweeping the Pistons in the 1991 ECF. At the time, Jordan made a sensational claim of being the only player to block Edward’s iconic jump shot.

James Edwards admits Michael Jordan knew how to combat his secret skill

Unlike the players on the Pistons roster, Edwards kept himself away from controversies. Interestingly the 3x champion wasn’t part of the infamous incident where the Pistons players walked off the court without shaking the hands of the Bulls players.

The Pistons center stayed away from the Bad Boys culture the team had adopted during the time. However, Edwards was popular in the league for his fadeaway jumper that many believe nobody could defend. Except for Michael Jordan.

While speaking to the Chicago Tribune in 1998, Edwards confessed that MJ was the only player who knew how to defend his shot. The former Pistons center added that Jordan had no qualms about claiming the only person to block his shot in the league.

“Michael would always talk about how he was the only one who could block my fadeaway. “He would sneak up behind me and get it.”

Interestingly, Edwards would join the Bulls in the last year of his career. The Bulls would make Edwards farewell season a memorable one. The Chicago team would have a 72-10 season, beating the Supersonics in the Finals.

Also read: “Scottie Pippen wasn’t that good, Michael Jordan single-handedly took us down”: Mark Jackson recalls his 1991 Playoffs meeting with the Bulls legend

Edwards told the Chicago Tribune that despite having a small role on the team, he enjoyed his time with the organization.


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