1998 NBA Finals

The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1998 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the 1997–98 NBA season. The Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls played against the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz, with the Jazz holding home-court advantage with the first 2 games in Salt Lake City. In a repeat of the previous year's Finals, the Bulls won the series 4 games to 2 for their third consecutive NBA title and their sixth in eight seasons. Michael Jordan was voted the NBA Finals MVP of the series (he also had won the award the last five times the Bulls won the Finals: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, and 1997). This would be his sixth NBA championship and sixth Finals MVP award in six full basketball seasons. Until 2014, it was the last consecutive Finals rematch between two teams.

The 1998 Finals garnered the highest Nielsen TV ratings in NBA history at 18.7, and even surpassed the Nielsen ratings for the 1998 World Series, marking the first time the NBA had a higher rating in its championship round than of Major League Baseball's championship round.

Until 2012, this was the most recent final played entirely outside of Texas and California.

1998 NBA Finals
1998 NBA Finals
Chicago Bulls Phil Jackson 4
Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan 2
DatesJune 3–14
MVPMichael Jordan
(Chicago Bulls)
Hall of FamersBulls:
Michael Jordan (2009)
Scottie Pippen (2010)
Dennis Rodman (2011)
John Stockton (2009)
Karl Malone (2010)
Phil Jackson (2007)
Jerry Sloan (2009)
Tex Winter (2011)
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern FinalsBulls defeat Pacers, 4–3
Western FinalsJazz defeat Lakers, 4–0


The series marked the first time since 1989 that the same two teams met in the Finals in consecutive years. The Jazz earned the league's best record by virtue of sweeping the two-game regular season series with the Bulls despite both teams finishing at 62 wins. In the playoffs, the Jazz were pushed to the brink by the Houston Rockets before winning Game 5 in Utah, and then overcame Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 4–1. They then swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Bulls swept the New Jersey Nets and then took out the Charlotte Hornets in five, but it took seven games to overcome the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Road to the Finals

Utah Jazz (Western Conference champion) Chicago Bulls (Eastern Conference champion)
# Western Conference
1 z-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756
2 y-Seattle SuperSonics 61 21 .744 1
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 61 21 .744 1
4 x-Phoenix Suns 56 26 .683 6
5 x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 46 36 .561 16
7 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17
8 x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21
9 Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 35
10 Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42
11 Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43
11 Golden State Warriors 19 63 .232 43
13 Los Angeles Clippers 17 65 .207 45
14 Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51

First seed in the West, best league record

Regular season
# Eastern Conference
1 c-Chicago Bulls 62 20 .756
2 y-Miami Heat 55 27 .671 7
3 x-Indiana Pacers 58 24 .707 4
4 x-Charlotte Hornets 51 31 .622 11
5 x-Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 12
6 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 15
7 x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 19
8 x-New Jersey Nets 43 39 .524 19
9 Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 20
10 Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 21
11 Detroit Pistons 37 45 .451 25
12 Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 26
12 Milwaukee Bucks 36 46 .439 26
14 Philadelphia 76ers 31 51 .378 31
15 Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 46
First seed in the East, second-best league record
Defeated the (8) Houston Rockets, 3–2 First Round Defeated the (8) New Jersey Nets, 3–0
Defeated the (5) San Antonio Spurs, 4–1 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Charlotte Hornets, 4–1
Defeated the (3) Los Angeles Lakers, 4–0 Conference Finals Defeated the (3) Indiana Pacers, 4–3

Regular season series

The Utah Jazz won both games in the regular season series:

January 25, 1998
Utah Jazz 101, Chicago Bulls 94
February 4, 1998
Chicago Bulls 93, Utah Jazz 101

1998 NBA Finals rosters

Chicago Bulls

1997–98 Chicago Bulls roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
SF 22 Booth, Keith 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 226 lb (103 kg) Maryland
PG 1 Brown, Randy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) New Mexico State
SG 30 Buechler, Jud 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Arizona
SF 24 Burrell, Scott 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 218 lb (99 kg) Connecticut
PG 9 Harper, Ron 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Miami (OH)
SG 23 Jordan, Michael (C) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) North Carolina
PG 25 Kerr, Steve 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Arizona
C 53 Kleine, Joe 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Arkansas
SF 7 Kukoc, Toni 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Croatia
PG 5 LaRue, Rusty 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Wake Forest
C 13 Longley, Luc 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 265 lb (120 kg) New Mexico
SF 33 Pippen, Scottie (C) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Central Arkansas
PF 91 Rodman, Dennis 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) SE Oklahoma State
PF 8 Simpkins, Dickey 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 248 lb (112 kg) Providence
C 34 Wennington, Bill 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 245 lb (111 kg) St. John's
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured


Utah Jazz

1997–98 Utah Jazz roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
SG 40 Anderson, Shandon 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 208 lb (94 kg) Georgia
PF 55 Carr, Antoine 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Wichita State
PG 10 Eisley, Howard 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 177 lb (80 kg) Boston College
C 44 Foster, Greg 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 240 lb (109 kg) UTEP
SG 14 Hornacek, Jeff 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Iowa State
PG 25 Hudson, Troy 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Southern Illinois
SF 31 Keefe, Adam 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Stanford
PF 32 Malone, Karl (C) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Louisiana Tech
SF 34 Morris, Chris 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Auburn
C 00 Ostertag, Greg 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 280 lb (127 kg) Kansas
SF 3 Russell, Bryon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Long Beach State
PG 12 Stockton, John (C) 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Gonzaga
PG 11 Vaughn, Jacque 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Kansas
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured


Series summary

Game Date Away Team Result Home Team
Game 1 Wednesday, June 3 Chicago Bulls 85–88 (OT) (0–1) Utah Jazz
Game 2 Friday, June 5 Chicago Bulls 93–88 (1–1) Utah Jazz
Game 3 Sunday, June 7 Utah Jazz 54–96 (1–2) Chicago Bulls
Game 4 Wednesday, June 10 Utah Jazz 82–86 (1–3) Chicago Bulls
Game 5 Friday, June 12 Utah Jazz 83–81 (2–3) Chicago Bulls
Game 6 Sunday, June 14 Chicago Bulls 87–86 (4–2) Utah Jazz

Bulls win the series 4–2.

June 3
Chicago Bulls 85, Utah Jazz 88 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 17–17, 23–28, 19–22, 20–12, Overtime: 6–9
Pts: Michael Jordan 33
Rebs: Pippen, Longley 8
Asts: Steve Kerr 5
Pts: John Stockton 24
Rebs: Karl Malone 14
Asts: John Stockton 8
Utah led the series, 1–0
Delta Center, Salt Lake City
Attendance: 19,911
  • Ron Garretson
  • Steve Javie
  • Bennett Salvatore
June 5
Chicago Bulls 93, Utah Jazz 88
Scoring by quarter: 23–20, 27–26, 20–27, 23–15
Pts: Michael Jordan 37
Rebs: Kukoč, Rodman 9
Asts: Scottie Pippen 4
Pts: Jeff Hornacek 20
Rebs: Karl Malone 12
Asts: John Stockton 7
Series tied, 1–1
Delta Center, Salt Lake City
Attendance: 19,911
  • Danny Crawford
  • Joe Crawford
  • Bill Oakes
June 7
Utah Jazz 54, Chicago Bulls 96
Scoring by quarter: 14–17, 17–32, 14–23, 9–24
Pts: Karl Malone 22
Rebs: Greg Ostertag 9
Asts: John Stockton 7
Pts: Michael Jordan 24
Rebs: Ron Harper 10
Asts: Ron Harper 7
Chicago led series, 2–1
United Center, Chicago
Attendance: 23,844
  • Dick Bavetta
  • Hue Hollins
  • Ronnie Nunn
June 10
Utah Jazz 82, Chicago Bulls 86
Scoring by quarter: 19–21, 18–18, 20–22, 25–25
Pts: Karl Malone 21
Rebs: Karl Malone 14
Asts: John Stockton 13
Pts: Michael Jordan 34
Rebs: Dennis Rodman 14
Asts: Scottie Pippen 5
Chicago led series, 3–1
United Center, Chicago
Attendance: 23,844
  • Hugh Evans
  • Steve Javie
  • Jack Nies
June 12
Utah Jazz 83, Chicago Bulls 81
Scoring by quarter: 16–18, 14–18, 29–19, 24–26
Pts: Karl Malone 39
Rebs: Karl Malone 9
Asts: John Stockton 12
Pts: Toni Kukoč 30
Rebs: Scottie Pippen 11
Asts: Scottie Pippen 11
Chicago led series, 3–2
United Center, Chicago
Attendance: 23,844
  • Joe Crawford
  • Bill Oakes
  • Bennett Salvatore
June 14
Chicago Bulls 87, Utah Jazz 86
Scoring by quarter: 22–25, 23–24, 16–17, 26–20
Pts: Michael Jordan 45
Rebs: Dennis Rodman 8
Asts: Kukoč, Pippen 4
Pts: Karl Malone 31
Rebs: Karl Malone 11
Asts: Karl Malone 7
Chicago won NBA Finals, 4–2
Delta Center, Salt Lake City
Attendance: 19,911
  • Dick Bavetta
  • Danny Crawford
  • Hue Hollins

Game summaries

Games 1 and 2

Unlike the 1997 Finals, the Jazz and Bulls entered this series as equals. The Jazz had won both regular season meetings with the Bulls, and many analysts predicted a hard-fought seven-game series. The two teams entered the Finals on completely different notes; the Jazz uneventfully swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals and had a total of ten days' rest before the Finals began. The Bulls, meanwhile, endured a hard-fought series against a resurgent Indiana Pacers team helmed by Larry Bird (in his first year as head coach). They would need all seven games to get past the Pacers and would have only two days' rest before having to travel to Utah. Predictions of a Jazz championship were strengthened with their 88–85 Game 1 victory in overtime in Utah, with Scottie Pippen just missing a 3-pointer at the buzzer. True to form, the Bulls tied the series in Game 2 while putting together a huge fourth-quarter run to silence the Delta Center and holding on to win 93–88, finally securing their first victory against Utah all season. Karl Malone shot very poorly in the first two games of the series with some misses including one layup in Game 2 that hit the underside of the rim.

Games 3–5

The Finals moved to Chicago with control of the series at stake in Game 3. In a 96–54 loss, the Jazz set the record for the lowest points scored in Finals history, as well as the lowest number of points scored in any NBA game (since eclipsed by a score of 49 from the Bulls on April 10, 1999) since the inception of the shot clock.

Chicago won Game 4 86-82, and Utah took Game 5 83–81 despite nearly blowing a seven-point lead in the last two minutes. Karl Malone had his best game of the series with 39 points, while Antoine Carr made all five of his field goal attempts. The series returned to Utah with the Bulls leading 3-2.

Game 6

As they arrived at the Delta Center for Game 6, things didn't look good for the Bulls. Scottie Pippen, whose back was already injured going into the game, aggravated his injury when he dunked the opening basket of the game. He scored only 8 points the whole game. To keep pace with Utah, the Bulls were forced to rely almost entirely on Jordan, who scored 23 points in the first half. Emotions ran high at the Delta Center when the Jazz suffered a critical shot clock violation in the second quarter. Referee Dick Bavetta ruled that Howard Eisley did not get a successful 3-point shot off in time, although TV replays showed that the ball was out of Eisley's hands just before the shot clock hit zero. Later in the fourth quarter, Michael Jordan tied the game with only a minute left. The Jazz received some relief as John Stockton hit a 3 with 41.9 seconds left to give Utah an 86–83 lead and sent the Delta Center into a frenzy.

After Jordan made a layup to make it 86–85, the Bulls needed to stop the Jazz from scoring again. When John Stockton passed the ball to Karl Malone, Jordan stole the ball away and dribbled down the court. Guarding him was Bryon Russell, one of the Jazz's best defenders. With 10 seconds remaining, Jordan started to dribble right, then crossed over to his left.[1][2][3] Jordan hit the 20-footer to give the Bulls an 87–86 lead with 5.2 seconds left. After a time-out, Stockton missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer, giving the Bulls their sixth NBA title in 8 years. Jordan, who scored 45 points, and whose game-winning shot has been immortalized around the world, was once again named Finals MVP.

Player statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
Chicago Bulls
Randy Brown 2 0 3.5 .333 .000 .000 1.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 1.0
Jud Buechler 6 0 5.2 .600 .667 .000 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 1.3
Scott Burrell 6 0 14.0 .409 .250 .667 2.5 0.0 1.2 0.0 3.5
Ron Harper 6 6 28.7 .364 .167 .583 4.5 2.8 1.5 0.7 5.3
Michael Jordan 6 6 41.7 .427 .308 .814 4.0 2.3 1.8 0.7 33.5
Steve Kerr 6 0 20.7 .350 .385 1.000 0.3 2.5 0.3 0.0 3.8
Toni Kukoč 6 6 37.0 .500 .304 .615 4.7 2.7 1.2 0.7 15.2
Luc Longley 6 6 21.7 .444 .000 .750 4.8 1.5 0.8 0.8 5.0
Scottie Pippen 6 6 39.5 .410 .231 .833 6.8 4.8 1.7 0.8 15.7
Dennis Rodman 6 0 30.5 .462 .000 .667 8.3 1.0 1.2 0.3 3.3
Dickey Simpkins 2 0 6.0 .500 .000 .000 1.5 0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0
Bill Wennington 3 0 4.3 .400 .000 .000 1.0 0.3 0.0 0.3 1.3
Utah Jazz
Shandon Anderson 6 0 21.0 .500 .333 .818 2.7 0.3 0.2 0.2 7.3
Antoine Carr 6 0 14.3 .500 .000 .750 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 4.2
Howard Eisley 6 0 17.5 .375 .143 1.000 2.0 3.8 0.3 0.2 4.7
Greg Foster 6 2 10.5 .267 .000 .000 2.3 0.0 0.2 0.3 1.3
Jeff Hornacek 6 6 34.2 .411 .333 .833 2.7 2.7 0.8 0.2 10.7
Adam Keefe 5 3 12.0 .429 .000 .500 3.4 0.2 0.4 0.0 2.8
Karl Malone 6 6 40.5 .504 .000 .789 10.5 3.8 1.0 1.2 25.0
Chris Morris 6 0 17.5 .393 .000 .667 2.5 0.5 0.3 0.2 4.3
Greg Ostertag 5 1 11.0 .417 .000 1.000 3.2 0.0 0.0 0.2 2.2
Bryon Russell 6 6 36.0 .409 .286 .688 5.0 1.3 1.2 0.2 8.8
John Stockton 6 6 32.3 .490 .222 .727 2.5 8.7 2.0 0.0 9.7
Jacque Vaughn 1 0 7.0 .000 .000 .000 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Media coverage

The Finals were televised in the United States by NBC, with Bob Costas on play-by-play and Doug Collins and Isiah Thomas serving as color analysts. Hannah Storm hosted the pre-game show, assisted by Bill Walton, John Salley and Peter Vescey, and Ahmad Rashād and Jim Gray reported from the sidelines. This was the first time since NBC took over the broadcasting rights to the NBA Finals in 1991 that Marv Albert was not the play by play commentator. He was fired from NBC on September 25, 1997 for sodomizing a woman.

The 1998 NBA season documentary "Unforgettabulls" was the first of five narrated by Will Lyman through NBA Entertainment, which recaps the entire Bulls' season. Rick Telander narrates on the opening credits. Marv Albert narrates the timeline of Michael Jordan's career with the Bulls.


As of the 2017–18 season, this series remains the last Finals appearances for both the Bulls and Jazz. After the season, the Bulls dynasty broke up. Without its key personnel, the Bulls missed the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 1999 season, winning just 13 of 50 games. The Bulls would not make the postseason again until 2005, win a playoff series until 2007, and earn the Eastern Conference top seed until 2011.

Phil Jackson declined an offer from the team president to coach another season.[4] He would come back as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999, winning five NBA titles in two separate stints with the team before retiring in 2011. This would give Jackson 11 NBA Titles, the most for a coach in the history of the four major American sports leagues. Ron Harper followed Jackson to the Lakers and won championships during his final two seasons, in 2000 and 2001.

In January 1999, Michael Jordan announced his retirement for the second time;[5] he would come out of retirement for the second and final time in 2001 with the Washington Wizards and played two seasons with the team. However, neither season ended with a playoff appearance.[6][7] Scottie Pippen was traded to the Houston Rockets during the offseason and played his last season (2003–04) with the Bulls. Dennis Rodman, released by the Bulls in the offseason, signed with the Lakers mid-season, playing only 23 games before being released. In January 1999, the Bulls re-signed Steve Kerr and traded him to the San Antonio Spurs,[8] where he would win two more championships in 1999 and 2003, his last year in the NBA.[9] Kerr would go on to win three championships as head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Luc Longley also retired in 2001.

The Jazz would continue to make the postseason until 2003, John Stockton's last season, and next made the Western Conference Finals in 2007 but lost in five games to the Spurs.[10][11] The following three seasons, the Jazz made the postseason but each time were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers. Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan resigned in February 2011.[12]

Antoine Carr and Chris Morris became free agents after the Finals, signed with other teams, and retired by 2000.[13][14] Jeff Hornacek retired in 2000 after two more seasons with Utah.[15] After five more seasons with the Jazz, Karl Malone spent his final season of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals.

The 2005–06 postseason saw the retirement or departure from the NBA of these former members of the 1998 Finals teams: Howard Eisley, Greg Ostertag, Shandon Anderson, Bryon Russell, and Toni Kukoč. Eisley remained with the Jazz the next two seasons and ended his career with the Denver Nuggets. In July 2006, the Nuggets traded Eisley to the Chicago Bulls, but the Bulls later waived Eisley before the 2006–07 season.[16][17] Ostertag retired in 2006 after having played all but one season since the 1998 Finals with the Jazz; he played for the Sacramento Kings in 2004-05. In his second season with the team and final season of his career, Anderson won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. Like Eisley, Russell played his final NBA season with the Denver Nuggets in 2005–06; Russell played three years afterward with teams in the American Basketball Association and International Basketball League.

See also


  1. ^ Kerber, Fred. Former NBA Ref Blasts Officiating Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, New York Post, August 17, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
  2. ^ Knott, Tom. "Someone has to win Eastern Conference", The Washington Times, December 8, 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
  3. ^ Deveney, Sean."Crying Foul". Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-04-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), sportingnews.com, March 14, 2005. Retrieved April 29, 2007.
  4. ^ "The head Bull rides off into the sunset". CNN.com. Associated Press. June 22, 1998. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  5. ^ Wise, Mike (January 13, 1999). "As Jordan Retires, Legend Swells". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Report: Michael Jordan To Come Back". CBSNews.com. Associated Press. September 10, 2001. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  7. ^ "Jordan finishes with 15 points in final NBA game". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 16, 2003. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "Deals, deals, deals: Spree and McDyess return, but Gugliotta still looking". CNN/SI. Associated Press. January 22, 1999. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Kerr leaves as NBA's most accurate 3-point shooter". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 7, 2003. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  10. ^ "Jazz to make first conference finals appearance since 1998". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 15, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Spurs smash Jazz, await Pistons-Cavs winner for Finals". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 30, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Zundel, Rob (February 10, 2011). "Jerry Sloan resigns as Jazz head coach". KSL. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  13. ^ "Antoine Carr transactions". basketball-reference. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  14. ^ "Chris Morris". basketball-reference. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  15. ^ Robinson, Doug (May 18, 2000). "Gone, but never forgotten: Jeff Hornacek opens new chapter as full-time husband, dad". Deseret News. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  16. ^ "Nene signs six-year, $60M contract with Nuggets". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 20, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  17. ^ Garcia, Marlen (July 21, 2006). "Bulls ship out Smith, clear spot for Griffin". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 20, 2011.

External links

From NBA official site

Other sites on the internet

1997–98 Chicago Bulls season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the Bulls' 32nd season in the National Basketball Association. The Bulls entered the season as the two-time defending NBA champions, where they defeated the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals in six games, winning their fifth NBA championship. During the offseason, the Bulls acquired Scott Burrell from the Golden State Warriors. Without All-Star forward Scottie Pippen for the first half of the season due to a back injury sustained from the 1997 NBA Finals, the Bulls played around .500 with a 9–7 record in November. However, Pippen would eventually return as the Bulls posted a 13-game winning streak between March and April, as they finished first place in the Central Division with a 62–20 record. In the playoffs, the Bulls defeated the New Jersey Nets 3–0 in the first round, the Charlotte Hornets 4–1 in the semifinals, and then the Indiana Pacers 4–3 in the Conference Finals en route to advance to the NBA Finals. In the Finals, they met the Utah Jazz in a rematch from last year's NBA Finals and just like last year, they would go on to defeat the Jazz in six games to win the championship. The championship was their sixth in eight years and completed the franchise's second "3-peat".

This was Michael Jordan's last season as a Bull, as he announced his second retirement after it was over. However, he did make a second comeback with the Washington Wizards in 2001. Also leaving Chicago after the season were starters Pippen and Dennis Rodman as well as head coach Phil Jackson—however, he did return to coach the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999. Because of these departures, this was the last season for the Bulls dynasty that had headlined the NBA throughout the 1990s. What followed was a long rebuilding process between 1998 and 2004, and the Bulls did not return to the postseason until 2005. The season also saw Jordan earn his fifth and final NBA Most Valuable Player Award, while being selected for the 1998 NBA All-Star Game, where he also won his third and final All-Star Game MVP Award.

Following the season, Jackson resigned as Head Coach, Jordan retired for the second time, Pippen was traded to the Houston Rockets, Rodman later signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, Luc Longley was dealt to the Phoenix Suns, three-point specialist Steve Kerr signed with the San Antonio Spurs, Burrell signed with the New Jersey Nets, and Jud Buechler signed with the Detroit Pistons.

1997–98 NBA season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the 52nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their third straight championship and sixth in the last eight years, beating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the 1998 NBA Finals. It also marked the departure of Michael Jordan and the end of the dynasty for the Chicago Bulls before Jordan returned in 2001 for the Washington Wizards. This was the last time that both NBA and NHL regular seasons ended on the same day.

1998 in basketball

The following are the basketball events of the year 1998 throughout the world.

1998–99 Chicago Bulls season

The 1998–99 Chicago Bulls season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Basketball Association. The Bulls entered the season as the three-time defending NBA champions, having defeated the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals in six games, winning their sixth NBA championship, and completing a second three-peat in the 1990s. However, with Phil Jackson’s resignation as head coach, the departures of Scottie Pippen (who stated his desire to be traded during the season, and was later traded to the Houston Rockets) and Dennis Rodman (who would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent), and Michael Jordan announcing his retirement for the second time on January 13, 1999 during the latter stages of an owner-induced lockout of NBA players, it marked the end of the Bulls dynasty in the 1990s. Under new head coach Tim Floyd and free agent signing Brent Barry, the Bulls were a shell of their former selves, losing eight of their first nine games of the season. The team finished in last place in the Central Division with a 13–37 record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1984. Toni Kukoč led the team in scoring with 18.8 points per game.

On April 10, 1999, the Bulls set an all-time NBA record low for points in the shot clock era in a 49–82 loss at the United Center to the Miami Heat. Following the season, Barry was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, Ron Harper signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Bill Wennington was released.

2005 NBA playoffs

The 2005 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2004–05 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. Tim Duncan was named Finals MVP.

The NBA Finals marked the first time since 1987 that the 2 previous champions met in the Finals (the Spurs won in 2003, the Pistons in 2004). For the Spurs, it was their 3rd title (they also won in the lockout-shortened season of 1999).

The Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards ended long playoff droughts in 2005 (and met each other in the first round). For Washington it was their first playoff appearance since 1997 (and even more ironic their opponents for that postseason appearance were the Bulls who swept them on their way to their fifth NBA title), and only their third since 1988. Their 4-2 series victory over the Bulls was their first since 1982.

The Miami Heat became the first team to go 8-0 through the first 2 rounds (the first round having been made into a best-of-7 in the 2003 NBA playoffs). The 2009 Cavaliers, 2010 Magic, 2012 Spurs, 2016 Cavaliers, 2017 Cavaliers and the 2017 Warriors followed suit. No team (until 2016) has made the finals after going 8-0 in the first two rounds, let alone win 12 straight games going to the NBA Finals (until 2017 Warriors), though the Spurs came close in 2012 when they won their first 10 playoff games, then lost their next four to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to go 8-0 through the first two rounds and make the NBA Finals. In 2017, the Golden State Warriors became the second team to go 8-0 through the first two rounds and make the NBA Finals as well as going 16-1 in the playoffs, the best winning percentage (.941) in NBA Playoff history.

It was the Bulls' first post-Michael Jordan playoff appearance, as their last playoff game was Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. They consistently placed at or near the bottom of the Central Division in between, but their 47-35 season in 2005 was a 24-game improvement from 2004.

For the 3rd straight year (5th overall) the Pacers met the Celtics in the first round. Boston won in 2003 4–2, while Indiana swept Boston in 2004. It would be Boston's last playoff appearance until 2008.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, it marked the first time in 11 seasons (dating back to 1994) and the fifth time in NBA history that they missed the playoffs. This is also the most recent time that the playoffs were played entirely outside of Los Angeles.

This was the last time that the Seattle SuperSonics would be in the playoffs before they relocated to Oklahoma to become the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Phoenix Suns won their first playoff series since 2000 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1993, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs in five games.

Bryon Russell

Bryon Demetrise Russell (born December 31, 1970) is an American former professional basketball player from San Bernardino, California. During a National Basketball Association (NBA) career that spanned from 1993 to 2006, he played for the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers and was a key member of the Utah Jazz, helping them reach back-to-back NBA finals appearances in 1997 and 1998. He was also a part of the Seattle SuperSonics roster for a brief time but never appeared in a game for them. Russell had his best season with the Jazz in the 1999–2000 season, when he averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. From 1997 to 2000, he played in every regular-season game.

Russell's alma mater, Long Beach State University, retired his jersey in 2010.

Chris Morris (basketball)

Christopher Vernard Morris (born January 20, 1966) is a retired American professional basketball player. In his 11-season (1988–1999) National Basketball Association career, the 6'8" small forward played for the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, and Phoenix Suns. He is a graduate of Atlanta's Douglass High School where his jersey has been retired and played for the Auburn University Tigers. He scored 8,184 total points in his NBA career.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961) is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was nicknamed "The Worm" and is famous for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities.

Rodman played at the small forward position in his early years before becoming a power forward. He earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships. His biography at NBA.com states that he is "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history". On April 1, 2011, the Pistons retired Rodman's No. 10 jersey, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later that year.Rodman experienced an unhappy childhood and was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as a "bad boy" and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He repeatedly dyed his hair in artificial colors, had many piercings and tattoos, and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be. Rodman pursued a high-profile affair with singer Madonna and was briefly married to actress Carmen Electra. Rodman also attracted international attention for his visits to North Korea and his subsequent befriending of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2013.

In addition to being a retired professional basketball player, Rodman is a retired part-time professional wrestler and actor. He was a member of the nWo and fought alongside Hulk Hogan at two Bash at the Beach events. In professional wrestling, Rodman was the first ever winner of the Celebrity Championship Wrestling tournament. He had his own TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and had lead roles in the action films Double Team (1997) and Simon Sez (1999). Both films were critically panned, with the former earning Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and was the winner of the $222,000 main prize of the 2004 edition of Celebrity Mole.

Dick Bavetta

Richard W. Bavetta (born December 10, 1939) is an American retired professional basketball referee for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since starting in 1975, he had never missed an assigned game and holds the league record for most officiated games. His game on April 12, 2013 in Washington was his 2,600th consecutive game as an NBA official.

Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals

Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals was a professional basketball game that was played on June 14, 1998 between the visiting Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center, now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bulls won 87–86, winning their sixth NBA championship in eight years. Game 6 was the final game with the Bulls for Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson (both would retire from the National Basketball Association (NBA), then eventually return). This game earned, and still holds, the highest TV ratings of an NBA game of all time. Michael Jordan hit a jump shot with 5.2 seconds left in the game to give the Bulls an 87–86 lead. Chicago then held on to win after John Stockton missed a 3-point field goal.

Howard Eisley

Howard Jonathan Eisley (born December 4, 1972) is an American retired professional basketball player and coach. Born in Detroit, Eisley played college basketball at Boston College and was drafted in 1994 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Eisley spent twelve seasons in the NBA, six with the Utah Jazz (1995–2000, 2004–2005) and the other six with seven other teams.

Jack Nies

Jack Nies (pronounced niece) (born November 11, 1937) is a retired National Basketball Association (NBA) referee. Wearing #35 throughout his 31-year career, only Dick Bavetta and Joey Crawford have had more years of NBA officiating experience than Nies. Nies officiated 2,046 regular-season games throughout his career, making him the sixth referee to do so. In addition, Nies oversaw 150 playoff games, 10 NBA Finals games, two NBA All-Star Games (1996 and 2005), and the 1987 Legends Classic. Internationally, he was part of the referee crew that oversaw the 1994 Mexico Challenge and the 1997 McDonald's Championship; 2007 Istanbul, Turkey; Malaga and Madrid Spain—NBA Preseason Games

Nies retired from the NBA following the 2008–09 season.

NBA Finals television ratings

This is a list of television ratings for NBA Finals in the United States, based on Nielsen viewing data.

The highest rated and most watched NBA Final series was 1998 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz,; the series averaged an 18.7 rating / 33 share and 29.04 million viewers on NBC. The lowest rated and least watched NBA Final series was 2007 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers; the series averaged a 6.2 rating / 11 share and 9.29 million viewers on ABC.

The highest rated and most watched NBA Final game was Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals which averaged a 22.3 rating / 38 share and 35.89 million viewers on Sunday night. The lowest rated and least watched NBA Final game was Game 2 of the 2003 NBA Finals which averaged a 5.2 rating / 10 share and 8.06 million viewers on Friday night.

The 1987 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics was the highest rated and most watched NBA Final series on CBS averaging a 15.9 rating / 32 share and 24.12 million viewers. Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals registered the network's highest rated and most watched NBA game with a 21.2 rating / 37 share.

The 2015 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers was the highest rated NBA Final series on ABC averaging an 11.6 rating / 21 share and 19.94 million viewers. The 2017 NBA Finals featuring the same two teams was the most watched NBA Final series on ABC averaging an 11.3 rating / 22 share and 20.38 million viewers. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals registered the network's highest rated and most watched NBA game with an average 15.8 rating / 29 share and 31.02 million viewers while peaking with a whopping 22.5 rating and 90.51 million viewers in the last 5 minutes of the game. It was the first basketball game to draw more than 30 million average viewers in 18 years, and only the seventh sports telecast (excluding NFL and Olympics) to have done so since 1998.The 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors had a drop in American viewership. Analysts cited both the presence of a Canadian team (Canadian viewership does not count towards U.S. Nielsen ratings, leading to only one U.S. home market being reflected in viewership), and being the first NBA Finals not to feature a team with LeBron James since 2010, as factors in the drop. However, the presence of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals boosted Canadian viewership to record levels. For Canadian viewership numbers, see the Viewership section of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Second Generation (advertisement)

"Second Generation" is a 2006 television advertisement introducing Nike's Air Jordan XXI brand of basketball shoes. The ad depicts signature moves from Michael Jordan's NBA career, recreated in the present day by twelve young basketball players around the world. Included are moments from the 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1998 NBA playoffs and the iconic 1988 slam dunk.

The ad was produced by Smuggler and directed by Brian Beletic for the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. Casting began in November 2005, filming took place in January 2006, and the ad debuted on television that February. Advertising publications gave favorable reviews to "Second Generation", although it did not win major awards.

The ad is also listed as "2nd Generation"; its tagline is "Let your game speak".

Sirius (song)

"Sirius" is a 1982 song by the British rock band The Alan Parsons Project from the album Eye in the Sky. It is a 1:54 minute instrumental piece that segues into "Eye in the Sky" on the original recording. From the 1990s onward, "Sirius" has become a staple of many college and professional sporting arenas throughout North America.

The Last Shot (disambiguation)

The Last Shot is a 2004 comedy film

The Last Shot may also refer to:

The Last Shot (1951 film), a 1951 West German drama film

The Last Shot (basketball), Michael Jordan's game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery, a young adult novel by John Feinstein

Last Shot (Gregg Hurwitz novel), a novel by Gregg Hurwitz

Nothing Underneath, a 1985 giallo film also known as The Last Shot

Last shot, in contract law

"Last Shot", a song by Kip Moore

United Center

United Center is an indoor arena on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is home to the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines.

The United Center's predecessor, the Chicago Stadium, was demolished after the new arena opened in 1994. The first event at the United Center was the WWF SummerSlam. Due to a lockout, the Blackhawks did not move in until the 1994-95 NHL season.

The east side of the arena features statues of Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, while a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street, where the Chicago Stadium was located.

United Center also hosted the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The franchise began play as an expansion team in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz (as a tribute to New Orleans' history of originating Jazz music). The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.

The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.

Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014.

Under Snyder's leadership, the Jazz have experienced success. The franchise qualified for the playoffs for three consecutive seasons from 2017-2019 with players such as Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell as centerpieces.

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