On June 14th, 1998, Michael Jordan played his last game for the Chicago Bulls. It was Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals between the visiting Chicago Bulls and the home team of Utah Jazz, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The finals series score was 3-2 before this game, Bulls needed just one more win to complete their 6th NBA Championship in eight years while the Jazz needed a win to set up a potential game 7. In the previous 5 Finals, the Bulls had never gone to a Game 7.
This game saw one of the most iconic moments of Jordan’s career. During the game, Jazz were leading 86-85 with 18.9 seconds to play, Michael Jordan stole the ball from Karl Malone in the post.
Jordan then ran down the court and used a crossover dribble and a slight shove on Bryon Russell to nail a 20-foot jumper for an 87-86 lead with 5.2 seconds to play. That jumper ended up being the game-winner as the Bulls clinched the title to complete their second 3-peat.
Jordan said, "When the crowd gets quiet, the moment is there, once you get into the moment, when you know you are there, things start to get quiet, and you start to the read the court very well. When Russell reached, I knew the moment was there.”
This moment displayed Michael's ability to dominate the game on both ends, a perfectly timed steal, and a 20-footer to get the lead in the dying moments of the game, it is also remembered as one of the greatest plays in the NBA history.
Michael Jordan ended the game with 45 points. He would retire from the NBA, then eventually return to play with the Washington Wizards. Jordan's dominance through the 90s is spectacular when you evaluate the state of basketball during that decade.
He defined the style of play in this era. He was the one player who was able to absolutely dominate the game, Jordan was exceptional at every phase of the game. His passion to prove he is the best is what set him apart.