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.
Derrick Rose is headed to Cleveland.
According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the former Bulls point guard committed to sign with the Cavaliers on Monday, joining a team on the heels of three straight NBA Finals appearances.
Although the numbers haven't been made official, the contract will likely be a one-year deal worth about $2.1 million. It's a low-risk move for the Cavs, who are signing a point guard with quite a history of injuries.
Rose, 28, had a bit of a resurgence on the offensive end last year. He posted 18 points per game, which was his highest average since 2011-2012, and he shot 47 percent from the field. While his defense continues to be lackluster, the 2011 MVP gives the Cavs' second unit a scoring boost.
The signing also raises more Kyrie Irving questions. Irving requested a trade late last week, indicating Rose may be pushed into a more prominent role.
Rose battled LeBron James in several playoffs. Now, the Chicago kid will try to win alongside The King.
Dennis Rodman is still a central figure in U.S.-North Korea relations and he may have had a hand in the release of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier from prison.
Warmbier has been in jail since last year when he ripped down a propaganda poster while visiting North Korea.
Rodman just arrived in North Korea early Tuesday, coinciding perfectly with the timing of Warmbier's release.
The night of the conclusion of the NBA Finals, the former Bulls star was spotted by CNN at Beijing International Airport, but he did not comment to the media.
Rodman has a relationship with Kim Jong Un dating back to at least 2013 and calls the North Korean Supreme Leader a friend.
The apparent draw between Kim and Rodman is the North Korean leader's fascination with basketball. Rodman hasn't been back in North Korea since January 2014 when he took part in an exhibition basketball game as a birthday gift for Kim.
When imprisoned American Kenneth Bae was released in 2014 after spending 735 days in a North Korean jail, he thanked Rodman for helping bring his case to light.
It is not yet known for sure if Rodman had anything to do with Warmbier's release. There are still three other American prisoners being held in North Korea — Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song (who were working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology) and businessman Kim Dong Chul.
Rodman was a part of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" TV show in 2009 and 2013 and has a personal relationship with the President.