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1998 NBA Finals

1998 NBA Finals
File:1998 NBA Finals.jpg
TeamCoachWins
Chicago Bulls Phil Jackson 4
Utah Jazz Jerry Sloan 2
Dates June 3–14
MVP Michael Jordan
(Chicago Bulls)
Television NBC (U.S.)
Announcers Bob Costas, Doug Collins and Isiah Thomas
Radio network ESPN
Announcers Brent Musburger, Jim Durham (Game 6), and Jack Ramsay
Referees
Game 1: Steve Javie, Ron Garretson, Bennett Salvatore
Game 2: Joe Crawford, Dan Crawford, Bill Oakes
Game 3: Dick Bavetta, Ronnie Nunn, Hue Hollins
Game 4: Hugh Evans, Steve Javie, Jack Nies
Game 5: Bennett Salvatore, Joe Crawford, Bill Oakes
Game 6: Dick Bavetta, Hue Hollins, Dan Crawford
Hall of Famers Bulls:
Michael Jordan (2009)
Scottie Pippen (2010)
Dennis Rodman (2011)
Jazz:
John Stockton (2009)
Karl Malone (2010)
Coaches:
Phil Jackson (2007)
Jerry Sloan (2009)
Tex Winter (2011)
Officials:
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern Finals Bulls defeat Pacers, 4-3
Western Finals Jazz defeat Lakers, 4-0
NBA Finals

The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association's 1997–98 season. The Chicago Bulls of the Eastern Conference played against the Utah Jazz of the Western Conference, 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 Most Valuable Player 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, this was the most recent Finals rematch between the two teams.

The 1998 Finals garnered the highest Nielsen TV Rating 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 title round.

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.

Background

The series marked the first time since 1989 that the same two teams would meet 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, then overcame Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 4–1 before sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals. The Bulls would sweep the New Jersey Nets and then took out the Charlotte Hornets in five games, but it would take a seventh game before overcoming the Indiana Pacers in the conference finals.

Road to the Finals

Main article: 1998 NBA Playoffs
Utah Jazz (Western Conference Champion) Chicago Bulls (Eastern Conference Champion)
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
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

1st seed in the West, best league record

Regular season
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
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
1st seed in the East, 2nd 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:

Starting Lineups

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame ‡
Chicago Position Utah
Ron Harper PG John Stockton
Michael Jordan SG Jeff Hornacek
Scottie Pippen SF Adam Keefe
Dennis Rodman PF Karl Malone
Luc Longley C Greg Foster


1998 NBA Finals roster

Chicago Bulls roster

Template:Chicago Bulls 1997–98 NBA champions

Utah Jazz roster