How Michael Jordan validated Doug Christie and gave the expansion Raptors hope – The Athletic


Doug Christie wasn’t in the postgame habit of asking opposing players for autographs. On March 24, 1996, he felt the situation demanded an exception.

After a Sunday matinee game, he went in search of a keepsake for his 2-year-old daughter, Chantel. Michael Jordan was in town, and she might want a memento when she could appreciate what that meant.

In 1995-96, Jordan’s Chicago Bulls went 72-10, setting an NBA record for wins in a season that would stand for 20 years. They were at the peak of their powers. As Toronto Raptors fans know well, one of the Bulls’ 10 losses during that record season occurred on a memorable afternoon at the SkyDome to an upstart expansion club.

That day, the 25-year-old Christie logged 26 minutes for the Raptors — most of them spent guarding the greatest player of all time.

Christie’s numbers that day were solid: 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting — including 3-for-3 from…