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. This would also be in many people's eyes the end of a golden era of basketball with the departure of Michael Jordan and the end of the dynasty for the Chicago Bulls before Michael Jordan returned in 2001 for the Washington Wizards. This is the last time that both NBA and NHL regular seasons ended on the same day.
The "Washington Bullets" were renamed as the "Washington Wizards". They began the season at US Airways Arena, then in December, they played their first game at the MCI Center (now Verizon Center) during this season.
The Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls shared the league's best record at 62–20, and met each other in the NBA Finals. The Jazz had home-court advantage by virtue of the head-to-head match-up (the Jazz won the season series 2–0).
Two new records were set in Game 3 of the NBA Finals: biggest margin of victory (42 points) and fewest points scored in an NBA Finals game (54) in the Bulls' rout of the Jazz.
Following head coach Phil Jackson's decision to not return to the Bulls, Michael Jordan announced his second retirement from the NBA during the following offseason. This was Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. Scottie Pippen was traded for Roy Rogers (who was released in February 1999) and a conditional second-round draft pick from the Houston Rockets. Dennis Rodman was not re-signed either, leading to the end of an era for the Chicago Bulls and the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets lost 71 games, joining the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers, 1987 Los Angeles Clippers, and 1993 Dallas Mavericks (later joined by the 2010 New Jersey Nets) as the only teams to lose 70 games in a season. The Nuggets also equaled the longest single-season losing streak with 23 consecutive losses, sharing the mark with the 1995–96Vancouver Grizzlies.
All the Western Conference teams that missed the playoffs had 55 or more losses. Four of them lost more than 62 games. The ninth-place Sacramento Kings finished the season with a 27–55 record, 14 games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets (41–41), winning just one of their last 20 games. The tenth-place Dallas Mavericks ended with a 20–62 record.
Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner become the first two female officials in NBA history (as well as any of the four major professional sports leagues). As of the 2013-14 season, only Palmer still remains in the NBA.
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.