Fresh Air: Michael Jordan Shoots the Breeze with Chris Rock

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By: VIBE / February 17, 2013

1997. An eventful year that would welcome President Bill Clinton into the oval office for his second term. The hip-hop world would grieve over the sudden death of one of its most notable heroes, the Notorious B.I.G. NASA would send two different aircrafts to Saturn and Mars, James Cameron’s Titanic would break records at the box office, and Steve Jobs would return to the company he founded, Apple Computer Inc.

Aside from it all, two men seemed to be on top of their game, their industries and the world.

With sixty-nine wins in the regular season, the Chicago Bulls would go on to win their second straight NBA title over the Utah Jazz in six games. The team’s captain and leagues most feared competitor Michael Jordan, would earn his fifth championship and fifth finals MVP. Just two years prior, Jordan had returned to the league after a brief stint in major league baseball. He had also seen success off the court and on the big screen, starring in the family film Space Jam.

During the same time, a comedian who had grown up on the same streets Jordan had been born, was making his name in the entertainment world. Chris Rock had been given his own television show on HBO, following the success of his second stand up special Bring the Pain. Rock was a two-time Emmy award winner and had already been known for his characters on Saturday Night Live. But in 1997, he would release an album, a book and star in a movie.

VIBE placed the two of them on its February cover and gave them the chance to interview one another at the peak of their professions.

Check out the iconic Feb. 1997 VIBE cover above!