1997–98 Chicago Bulls season

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1997–98 Chicago Bulls season
Sixth NBA Championship
Head coach Phil Jackson
Owner(s) Jerry Reinsdorf
Arena United Center
Results
Record 62–20 (.756)
Place Division: 1st (Central)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Champions

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports Chicago, WGN
Radio WMVP
< 1996–97 1998–99 >

The 1997–98 Chicago Bulls continued their elite status in the NBA's Eastern Conference, as they had throughout the decade, and defeated the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. 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 Wizards. Also leaving Chicago after the season were starters Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman as well as head coach Phil Jackson. Because of these departures, this is considered[by whom?] "the last season" for the Bulls dynasty that had headlined the NBA throughout the 1990s. What followed was a long rebuilding process between 1998 to 2004, and the Bulls did not return to the postseason until 2005.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 28 Keith Booth SF  United States Maryland
2 58 Roberto Dueñas C  Spain FC Barcelona (Spain)

Standings[edit]

Central Division[edit]

Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Chicago Bulls 62 20 .756 37–4 25–16 21–7
x-Indiana Pacers 58 24 .707 4 32–9 26–15 19–9
x-Charlotte Hornets 51 31 .622 11 32–9 19–22 16–12
x-Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 12 29–12 21–20 19–9
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 15 27–14 20–21 14–14
Detroit Pistons 37 45 .451 25 25–16 12–29 12–16
Milwaukee Bucks 36 46 .439 26 21–20 15–26 9–19
Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 46 9–32 7–34 2–26

Eastern Conference[edit]

Regular season[edit]

October–November[edit]

December[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

Game log[edit]

Regular season[edit]

1997–98 game log
Total: 1–1 (Home: 1–0; Road: 0–1)
1997–98 season schedule

Postseason[edit]

Player stats[edit]

Legend
  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

Regular season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Keith Booth 6 0 2.8 .333 .000 1.000 .7 .2 .00 .00 1.7
Randy Brown 71 6 16.2 .384 .000 .718 1.3 2.1 1.00 .17 4.1
Jud Buechler 74 0 8.2 .483 .385 .500 1.0 .7 .30 .20 2.7
Scott Burrell 80 3 13.7 .424 .354 .734 2.5 .8 .80 .46 5.2
Jason Caffey 51 8 13.9 .503 .000 .660 3.4 .7 .25 .33 5.3
Ron Harper 82 82 27.9 .441 .190 .750 3.5 2.9 1.32 .59 9.3
Michael Jordan 82 82 38.8 .465 .238 .784 5.8 3.5 1.72 .55 28.7
Steve Kerr 50 0 22.4 .454 .438 .918 1.5 1.9 .52 .10 7.5
Joe Kleine 46 1 8.6 .368 .000 .833 1.7 .7 .09 .11 2.0
Toni Kukoč 74 52 30.2 .455 .362 .708 4.4 4.2 1.03 .50 13.3
Rusty LaRue 14 0 10.0 .408 .250 .625 .6 .4 .21 .07 3.5
Luc Longley 58 58 29.4 .455 .000 .736 5.9 2.8 .59 1.07 11.4
Scottie Pippen 44 44 37.5 .447 .318 .777 5.2 5.8 1.80 .98 19.1
Dennis Rodman 80 66 35.7 .431 .174 .550 15.0 2.9 .59 .22 4.7
Dickey Simpkins 21 0 11.3 .634 .000 .591 1.5 .8 .19 .14 3.7
David Vaughn III 3 0 2.0 1.000 .000 .500 .3 .0 .00 .00 1.3
Bill Wennington 48 8 9.7 .436 .000 .810 1.7 .4 .08 .10 3.5

Postseason[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Randy Brown 14 5.1 .167 .000 .833 .6 .6 .14 .00 .6
Jud Buechler 16 4.0 .364 .600 .000 .7 .2 .19 .06 .7
Scott Burrell 21 12.4 .438 .300 .909 2.0 .5 .90 .14 3.8
Ron Harper 21 26.8 .459 .263 .615 3.7 2.3 .95 .86 6.7
Michael Jordan 21 41.5 .462 .302 .812 5.1 3.5 1.52 .57 32.4
Steve Kerr 21 19.8 .434 .463 .818 .8 1.7 .33 .00 4.9
Toni Kukoč 21 30.3 .486 .377 .645 3.9 2.9 1.24 .48 13.1
Luc Longley 18 25.3 .450 .000 .872 5.0 1.9 .67 .83 7.9
Scottie Pippen 21 39.8 .415 .228 .679 7.1 5.2 2.14 .95 16.8
Dennis Rodman 21 34.4 .371 .250 .605 11.8 2.0 .67 .62 4.9
Dickey Simpkins 13 5.7 .375 .000 .444 1.0 .2 .15 .08 1.2
Bill Wennington 16 7.4 .526 .000 .500 .9 .2 .38 .12 2.8

Roster[edit]

1997–98 Chicago Bulls roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
SF 22 United States Booth, Keith 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 226 lb (103 kg) Maryland
PG 1 United States Brown, Randy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) New Mexico State
SF 30 United States Buechler, Jud 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Arizona
SF 24 United States Burrell, Scott 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 218 lb (99 kg) Connecticut
PF 35 United States Caffey, Jason 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Alabama
SG 9 United States Harper, Ron 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Miami (OH)
SG 23 United States Jordan, Michael 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) North Carolina
PG 25 United States Kerr, Steve 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Arizona
C 53 United States Kleine, Joe 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Arkansas
SF 7 Croatia Kukoc, Toni 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Croatia
PG 5 United States LaRue, Rusty 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Wake Forest
C 13 Australia Longley, Luc 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 265 lb (120 kg) New Mexico
SF 33 United States Pippen, Scottie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Central Arkansas
PF 91 United States Rodman, Dennis 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) SE Oklahoma State
PF 8 United States Simpkins, Dickey 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 248 lb (112 kg) Providence
PF 42 United States Vaughn, David 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Memphis
C 34 Canada Wennington, Bill 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 245 lb (111 kg) St. John's
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)



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

NBA finals[edit]

1998 NBA Finals Roster[edit]

Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz
Head Coach: Phil Jackson Head Coach: Jerry Sloan
Michael Jordan Karl Malone
Scottie Pippen Jeff Hornacek
Dennis Rodman John Stockton
Luc Longley Bryon Russell
Ron Harper Shandon Anderson
Steve Kerr Adam Keefe
Jason Caffey Howard Eisley
Scott Burrell Antoine Carr
Randy Brown Greg Foster
Dickey Simpkins Greg Ostertag
Rusty LaRue Chris Morris
Bill Wennington Jacque Vaughn
Jud Buechler Troy Hudson
Joe Kleine William Cunningham
Keith Booth

Series summary[edit]

Legend: OT denotes a game decided in overtime

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 June 3 Utah 88-85 (OT) Chicago
Game 2 June 5 Utah 88-93 Chicago
Game 3 June 7 Chicago 96-54 Utah
Game 4 June 10 Chicago 86-82 Utah
Game 5 June 12 Chicago 81-83 Utah
Game 6 June 14 Utah 86-88 Chicago

Bulls win series 4-2

Games 1 and 2[edit]

This was the first time in the 1990s that the same two teams played each other in two consecutive finals. The Jazz had won both regular season match-ups, and many analysts predicted a hard fought seven game series. Predictions of a Jazz championship were strengthened with their game one victory in overtime in Utah. The Bulls would tie the series in game 2 putting together a fourth quarter run to silence the Delta Center and holding on to win 93-88, finally securing their first victory against Utah all season.

Games 3, 4 and 5[edit]

The Finals would move to Chicago with control of the series at stake in Game 3. Though anticipation was high, no one could have expected a blow-out of the proportions seen in Game 3. With a 96-54 triumph over Utah, the Bulls would help the Jazz set an embarrassing record for the lowest points scored in Finals history and biggest margin of defeat, while everyone on the Bulls scored. The Jazz would pull themselves together in Game 4 in a better attempt to tie the series, but lost 86-82.

The early Jazz series-lead seemed like a distant memory, a false indication of a tough series as they hit the floor for Game 5 behind 3-1. Chicago fans prepared for the last game they would host with the Jordan-led Bulls of the 1990s. But any notions of a championship at the United Center would be snuffed out when Michael Jordan airballed an off-balance 3 to the right of the basket giving the Jazz a narrow 83-81 win. With the series shifting back to Utah with a far more generous 3-2 Bulls advantage, the promise of another Chicago championship was not so certain.

Game 6[edit]

The Chicago Bulls had never let a Finals series go to a Game 7.

As they arrived at the Delta Center for Game 6, things didn't look good for the Bulls. Scottie Pippen's back gave out when he dunked the opening basket of the game and he was slowed down and held to just 8 points. The Jazz suffered a bad break when the referees incorrectly nullified a Howard Eisley three-pointer that, replays showed, was clearly released just before the 24-second clock expired. In the 4th quarter, the Bulls closed the gap as Michael Jordan tallied many of his 45 overall points. Then things got worse for Chicago when John Stockton hit a clutch 3 with 41.9 seconds left to give Utah an 86-83 lead as the Delta Center crowd roared happily. Down by 3, the Bulls had one last chance to stay alive. Running perilously low on energy, it would be imperative for Chicago to win the series before the game went into OT, and also for the Bulls to avoid a Game 7 on the road when Scottie Pippen was so badly injured and their entire lineup was exhausted.

After Michael Jordan made a layup to cut the Jazz lead to one, the Bulls needed to stop the Jazz from scoring again. When John Stockton passed the ball to Karl Malone, Michael Jordan stole the ball away and dribbled to the front. Guarding him was Bryon Russell, one of the Jazz's best perimeter defenders. Jordan drove inside the 3-point line, executed a quick cross-over (and appeared to push off on Russell, throwing him to the ground in the process), and drilled a 20-ft. jump shot to give the Bulls an 87-86 lead with 5.2 seconds left. After Utah took a timeout, Stockton's 3 hit the rim and bounced away, giving the Bulls their 6th title in 8 years. The famous winning shot has been immortalized in many records, as Jordan completed a perfect sextet: 6 NBA Finals, 6 championships, and 6 NBA Finals MVP trophies for the greatest player of all time.

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]