1997–98 NBA season

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1997–98 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration October 31, 1997 – April 19, 1998
April 23 – May 31, 1998 (Playoffs)
June 3 – 14, 1998 (Finals)
Number of teams 29
TV partner(s) NBC, TBS, TNT
Draft
Top draft pick Tim Duncan
Picked by San Antonio Spurs
Regular season
Top seed Utah Jazz
Season MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Top scorer Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Chicago Bulls
  Eastern runners-up Indiana Pacers
Western champions Utah Jazz
  Western runners-up Los Angeles Lakers
Finals
Champions Chicago Bulls
  Runners-up Utah Jazz
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)
NBA seasons

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.

Notable occurrences[edit]

Coaching changes
Offseason
Team 1996–97 coach 1997–98 coach
Boston Celtics M. L. Carr Rick Pitino
Denver Nuggets Dick Motta Bill Hanzlik
Golden State Warriors Rick Adelman P. J. Carlesimo
Indiana Pacers Larry Brown Larry Bird
Orlando Magic Richie Adubato Chuck Daly
Philadelphia 76ers Johnny Davis Larry Brown
Portland Trail Blazers P. J. Carlesimo Mike Dunleavy, Sr.
Vancouver Grizzlies Stu Jackson Brian Hill
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Dallas Mavericks Jim Cleamons Don Nelson
Detroit Pistons Doug Collins Alvin Gentry
Toronto Raptors Darrell Walker Butch Carter
  • The 1998 NBA All-Star Game was played at Madison Square Garden. However, the Slam Dunk Contest was not held, due to the risk of player injuries, lack of new dunking tricks and lack of big-name players in recent competitions. Instead, a 2Ball competition was held. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant became the youngest All-Star starter at age 19. Michael Jordan won his third All-Star MVP.
  • 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.
  • Due to the demolition of The Omni and the construction of the new Philips Arena, the Atlanta Hawks split home games between Georgia Tech's Alexander Coliseum (Their original home where they played for four seasons when they moved to Atlanta in 1968.) and the Georgia Dome.
  • Golden State Warriors swingman Latrell Sprewell made headlines by choking Warriors head coach P. J. Carlesimo during practice on December 1, 1997. Sprewell was ultimately suspended for 68 games, at the time the longest in NBA history. Sprewell would be traded to the New York Knicks in the off-season that followed.
  • Michael Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in points scored in the NBA Playoffs.
  • 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.
  • The San Antonio Spurs set a league record for the biggest single-season turnaround (36 games), breaking the record set in the 1989–90 NBA season by the Spurs; it was later broken by the 2007–08 Boston Celtics.
  • 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.
  • Houston Rockets guard Clyde Drexler retired after 15 seasons, 12 of which he spent with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he led the team to two NBA Finals, in 1990 and 1992. He won his only NBA championship in 1995 while playing for the Rockets.
  • The restricted area arc was allowed.
  • On February 27, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 124–59, marking the first time in NBA history that one team scored more than twice as many points as its opponent.[citation needed]
  • Nike became the official outfitter for select NBA teams (Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards), which ran for seven years. Other NBA teams were outfitted by Starter Clothing Line, Puma, Reebok or Champion.
  • 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 1995–96 Vancouver 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.

Final standings[edit]

By division[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Miami Heat 55 27 .671 30-11 25–16 18–6
x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 12 28–13 15–26 13–11
x-New Jersey Nets 43 39 .524 12 26–15 17–24 12–12
Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 13 24–17 18–23 12–13
Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 14 24–17 17–24 11–13
Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 19 24–17 12–29 12–23
Philadelphia 76ers 31 51 .378 24 19–22 12–29 7–17


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
Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756 36–5 26–15 22–2
x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6 31–10 25–16 18–6
x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17 26–15 19–22 14–10
x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21 24–17 17–24 14–10
Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42 13–28 7–34 9–15
Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43 14–27 5–36 4–20
Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51 9–32 2–39 3–21


Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Seattle SuperSonics 61 21 .744 35–6 26–15 19–5
x-Los Angeles Lakers 61 21 .744 33–8 28–13 16–8
x-Phoenix Suns 56 26 .683 5 30–11 26–15 17–7
x-Portland Trail Blazers 46 36 .561 15 26–15 20–21 14–10
Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 34 21–20 6–35 6–18
Golden State Warriors 19 63 .232 42 12–29 7–34 6–18
Los Angeles Clippers 17 65 .207 44 11–30 6–35 6–18


By conference[edit]

# 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
# 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


Notes

  • z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
  • c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
  • y – Clinched division title
  • x – Clinched playoff spot

Playoffs[edit]

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.

Main article: 1998 NBA Playoffs
First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 Utah 3
8 Houston 2
1 Utah 4
5 San Antonio 1
4 Phoenix 1
5 San Antonio 3
1 Utah 4
Western Conference
3 L.A. Lakers 0
3 L.A. Lakers 3
6 Portland 1
3 L.A. Lakers 4
2 Seattle 1
2 Seattle 3
7 Minnesota 2
W1 Utah 2
E1 Chicago 4
1 Chicago 3
8 New Jersey 0
1 Chicago 4
4 Charlotte 1
4 Charlotte 3
5 Atlanta 1
1 Chicago 4
Eastern Conference
3 Indiana 3
3 Indiana 3
6 Cleveland 1
3 Indiana 4
7 New York 1
2 Miami 2
7 New York 3

Statistics leaders[edit]

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 28.7
Rebounds per game Dennis Rodman Chicago Bulls 15.0
Assists per game Rod Strickland Washington Wizards 10.5
Steals per game Mookie Blaylock Atlanta Hawks 2.6
Blocks per game Marcus Camby Toronto Raptors 3.7
FG% Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers 58.4
FT% Chris Mullin Indiana Pacers 93.9
3FG% Dale Ellis Seattle SuperSonics 46.4

NBA awards[edit]

Yearly awards[edit]

Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com

Player of the week[edit]

The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.

Week Player
Oct. 31 – Nov. 8 Dikembe Mutombo (Atlanta Hawks)
Nov. 9 – Nov. 15 Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)
Nov. 16 – Nov. 22 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Nov. 23 – Nov. 29 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 Wesley Person (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Dec. 7 – Dec. 13 Glen Rice (Charlotte Hornets)
Dec. 14 – Dec. 20 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Dec. 21 – Dec. 27 David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)
Dec. 28 – Jan. 3 Rik Smits (Indiana Pacers)
Jan. 4 – Jan. 10 Steve Smith (Atlanta Hawks)
Jan. 11 – Jan. 17 Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers)
Jan. 18 – Jan. 24 Jayson Williams (New Jersey Nets)
Jan. 25 – Jan. 31 David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)
Feb. 10 – Feb. 14 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Feb. 15 – Feb. 21 Nick Anderson (Orlando Magic)
Feb. 22 – Feb. 28 Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
Mar. 1 – Mar. 7 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Mar. 8 – Mar. 14 Jason Kidd (Phoenix Suns)
Mar. 15 – Mar. 21 Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)
Mar. 22 – Mar. 28 Alonzo Mourning (Miami Heat)
Mar. 29 – Apr. 4 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Apr. 5 – Apr. 11 Sam Cassell (New Jersey Nets)
Apr. 12 – Apr. 18 Jason Kidd (Phoenix Suns)

Player of the month[edit]

The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.

Month Player
November Eddie Jones (Los Angeles Lakers)
December Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
January Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)
February Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
March Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
April Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookie of the month[edit]

The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.

Month Rookie
November Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
December Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
January Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
February Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
March Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
April Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)

Coach of the month[edit]

The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.

Month Coach
November Lenny Wilkens (Atlanta Hawks)
December George Karl (Seattle SuperSonics)
January Larry Bird (Indiana Pacers)
February Pat Riley (Miami Heat)
March Jerry Sloan (Utah Jazz)
April Del Harris (Los Angeles Lakers)

References[edit]