Jim Dettling


(Originally published May 8, 1989)



Stunned silence replaced wild cheers Sunday, as Michael Jordan scored a basket at the buzzer to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 101-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.



The loss ended the Cavs’ playoff hopes and sent most of the sellout crowd of 20,273 fans home from the Coliseum talking to themselves.



“My God, I can’t believe it,” said George Martin of Cleveland. “What an ugly way to lose.



“I was kind of hoping it would be raining out here. That would have been the perfect cap to a terrible day,’ Martin said as he walked to his car in the Coliseum parking lot.



“It was a great game, but it was definitely a heartbreaker at the end,” said Don Armstrong of Akron.



The large crowd had come to cheer, and cheer they did -- except at the end.



“This is one of the rowdiest crowds we’ve had all season,” said Coliseum usher Paul Coughlin of Akron. “They seem like they’re really into the game.”



One of the youngest fans at the game was 3-month-old David Magley Jr., whose father played for the Cavs in 1982 and 1983.



“This is his first game,” said his mother, Evelyn, “unless you count the time I came to a game when I was pregnant.”



David Sr. said he was hoping for a good game and a Cavs win.



“I’ve still got a lot of friends on the team and they deserve a win,” he said.



In the Cavs Lounge in the concourse, bartender Joe Sedlak of Parma watched the game on the bar television.



“Yeah, when it’s slow like this I get a chance to sneak up and watch some of the game. Our busiest time is at halftime, but now most people are back in their seats.”



One of those seated fans was Lee Courtney, 23, of Canton, who predicted before the game that Chicago’s Jordan would score “40 or 50 points. But the Cavs will hang on and win.”



Courtney, a self-described “super fan,” attended 23 games this season at the Coliseum. His prediction on Jordan was half-right as the Bulls’ All-Pro shooter scored 44 points. But the bucket at the buzzer ruined the rest of Courtney’s prediction.