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1997–98 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s NBC, TBS, TNT
Draft
Top draft pick Tim Duncan
Picked by San Antonio Spurs
Regular season
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
Finals champions Chicago Bulls
Runners-up Utah Jazz
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)

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.


Notable occurrences

  • 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.
  • The "Washington Bullets" are renamed as the "Washington Wizards." They begin the season at US Airways Arena, then in December, they play 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 and the Georgia Dome.
  • Michael Jordan passes 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 with 62-20. Fittingly, they met each other in the NBA Finals. The Jazz had home-court advantage by virtue of a better conference record.
  • Two new records are 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 Chicago Bulls' rout of the Utah Jazz.
  • Following head coach Phil Jackson's decision to not return to the Bulls, Michael Jordan announces 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 resigned either leading to the end of an era for the Chicago Bulls and the NBA.
  • The restricted area arc was allowed
  • On February 26, the Indiana Pacers handily 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 either outfitted by Starter Clothing Line, Puma or Champion.
  • The Denver Nuggets lost 71 games, joining the 1973 Philadelphia 76ers, 1987 Los Angeles Clippers, and 1993 Dallas Mavericks as the only teams to lose 70 games in a season. The Nuggets would also equal the longest single-season losing streak with 23 consecutive losses, sharing the mark with the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies.

Final standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Miami Heat 55 27 .671 -
New York Knicks 43 39 .524 12
New Jersey Nets 43 39 .524 12
Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 13
Orlando Magic 41 41 .500 14
Boston Celtics 36 46 .439 19
Philadelphia 76ers 31 51 .378 24
Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Chicago Bulls C 62 20 .756 -
Indiana Pacers 58 24 .707 4
Charlotte Hornets 51 31 .622 11
Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 12
Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 15
Detroit Pistons 37 45 .451 25
Milwaukee Bucks 36 46 .439 26
Toronto Raptors 16 66 .195 46

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Utah Jazz 62 20 .756 -
San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6
Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17
Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21
Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42
Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43
Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51
Pacific Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Seattle SuperSonics 61 21 .744 -
Los Angeles Lakers 61 21 .744 -
Phoenix Suns 56 26 .683 5
Portland Trail Blazers 46 36 .561 15
Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 34
Golden State Warriors 19 63 .232 42
Los Angeles Clippers 17 65 .207 44

C - NBA Champions

Statistics leaders

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

Yearly awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • Rookie of the Year: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta Hawks
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Danny Manning, Phoenix Suns
  • Most Improved Player: Alan Henderson, Atlanta Hawks
  • Coach of the Year: Larry Bird, Indiana Pacers
  • All-NBA First Team:
    • F - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
    • F - Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
    • C - Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
    • G - Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
    • G - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • All-NBA Second Team:
    • F - Vin Baker, Seattle SuperSonics
    • F - Grant Hill, Detroit Pistons
    • C - David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • G - Tim Hardaway, Miami Heat
    • G - Rod Strickland, Washington Wizards
  • All-NBA Third Team:
    • F - Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
    • F - Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
    • C - Dikembe Mutumbo, Atlanta Hawks
    • G - Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
    • G - Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team:
    • F - Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
    • F - Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
    • C - Dikembe Mutumbo, Atlanta Hawks
    • G - Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
    • G - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
    • F - Charles Oakley, New York Knicks
    • F - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
    • C - David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • G - Eddie Jones, Los Angeles Lakers
    • G - Mookie Blaylock, Atlanta Hawks
  • All-NBA Rookie First Team:
    • Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
    • Keith Van Horn, New Jersey Nets
    • Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers
    • Ron Mercer, Boston Celtics
    • Brevin Knight, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • All-NBA Rookie Second Team:
    • Maurice Taylor, Los Angeles Clippers
    • Cedric Henderson, Cleveland Cavaliers
    • Tim Thomas, Philadelphia 76ers
    • Bobby Jackson, Denver Nuggets
    • Derek Anderson, Cleveland Cavaliers

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


Player of the week

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

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

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

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

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