At first glance, there is nothing terribly awesome about this. It is a card featuring Sam Vincent, a middling NBA role player that any collector would casually throw in a pile of “commons.” But take a closer look. As your eyes scan the photo, you may notice that Michael Jordan is on this card, and then it hits you. Michael Jordan is wearing the #12!
The #23 has become synonymous with Michael Jordan, and most sports fans and Jay-Z fans are aware of his brief stint wearing #45 upon returning from retirement in 1995, but not many know the story of Jordan’s lone professional game wearing #12.
On Valentine’s Day in 1990, a rabid fan snuck into the Bulls locker room and made off with Jordan’s #23 jersey. I assume he also sniffed Jordan’s underwear too, and who could blame him if he did?
Security searched the area, but the lunatic and the jersey disappeared without a trace. Mike attempted to borrow a young fan’s #23 Jordan replica jersey. Could you imagine being that fan and being able to say that Michael Jordan wore your jersey during a game?
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as the jersey was far too small, at which point Jordan settled for the nameless #12 jersey that this Hoops card photo happened to capture.
The Bulls lost the game, but Jordan scored 49 points, ranking #12 highest in points per game of any number he wore throughout his career. It also makes him the greatest athlete in sports history ever to wear #12, so suck on that Tom Brady.
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