The 1998 NBA Finals resulted in two things: the Bulls’ sixth title and 20 years of bitterness for the Utah Jazz.
Exactly two decades after “The Last Shot,” the Jazz proved they still haven’t gotten over that Game 6 loss to the Bulls, particularly Michael Jordan’s “push-off,” with their latest comment on NBA’s Instagram.
What appeared to be a push-off on Bryon Russell that gave Jordan an open look and game-winning bucket with 5.2 seconds left to play has cemented a sour taste in the mouths of the Jazz organization for countless years.
When fans look back 20 seasons, the history books only describe how Jordan won his sixth title by scoring one of his famed clutch shots in Salt Lake City. But in reality, that was the last time the Jazz appeared in the NBA Finals. Utah has gone that long without even making a championship appearance.
In fact, the Jazz, formerly led by John Stockton and Karl Malone, lost both of their Finals appearances to the Bulls in 1997 and 1998.
Putting that in perspective, the last memory Utah has in a championship game is Jordan pushing off on their own Russell and the loss that came just moments after. The Jazz are obviously still scarred from that moment.
This past season, the Jazz lost in the Western Conference Semifinals and the Bulls didn’t make the playoffs. Things are looking up for an evidently resentful Utah organization, but it hasn’t helped them forget about what happened in 1998.
The Bulls and the city of Chicago have their fingerprints all over the list of winningest head coaches (by win-loss percentage) in NBA history but a new name is atop the list as of Friday night.
Chicago-native Doc Rivers is currently 41st on the list with a W-L percentage just under 58%. Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is 33rd on the list with a 58.9% W-L percentage, and of course, Bulls Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson has long held a firm place within the top-5.
Jackson is currently 3rd on the list of winningest coaches in league history as he has since been passed by Nurse and another former Bull, current Warriors coach Steve Kerr. But on Friday Nurse officially passed Kerr and became the winningest head coach in league history.
The Raptors took down the Phoenix Suns on Friday night behind a 37-point performance from Pascal Siakam and a great all-around defensive effort to lift Toronto's record to 41-15 on the season. Nurse has done an excellent job of leading the Raptors to a great post-NBA title-winning season despite a ton of adversity.
Nurse, an avid Cubs fan, has the Raptors playing some of the best basketball in the league, sitting at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference despite having lost 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency and missing almost every player on their roster to injury at some point this season.
Nick Nurse enters Saturday morning with an NBA head coaching record of 99-38 over 138 games.
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David Schuster, Charlie Roumeliotis, and Chris Kuc join Leila on the panel.
0:00 - The Blackhawks are back on the ice but the trade deadline is looming. Which goalie is most likely to be dealt before Monday? And could a member of the Cup-winning core be traded?
12:00 - The shorthanded Bulls lose their 7th straight but all of the focus is on the front office. The guys discuss the possible changes that we could see this offseason.
18:00 - Jamal Mayers joins Leila and Charlie to talk about his new children's book "Hockey Is For Me" and how he hopes to inspire more kids to play the game he loves.
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