Suvarna Garge (Editor)

1997–98 NBA season

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Sport  Basketball
Picked by  San Antonio Spurs
Champion  Chicago Bulls
Number of teams  29
TV partner(s)  NBC, TBS, TNT
Top seed  Utah Jazz
Period  1997 – 1998
Top draft pick  Tim Duncan
1997–98 NBA season httpsiytimgcomvidL2u8zM0Rwhqdefaultjpg
League  National Basketball Association
Duration  October 31, 1997 – April 19, 1998 April 23 – May 31, 1998 (Playoffs) June 3 – 14, 1998 (Finals)
Top scorer  Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Season MVP  Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Similar  1996–97 NBA season, 1998–99 NBA season, 1995–96 NBA season, 2000–01 NBA season, 2001–02 NBA season

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

  • 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 the "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 wins), breaking their own record set in the 1989–90 NBA season; 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 Bulls and the NBA.
  • Houston Rockets guard Clyde Drexler retired after fifteen seasons, twelve 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.
  • Dallas Mavericks forward A.C. Green breaks the NBA's Iron Man Streak of most consecutive games played, surpassing Randy Smith who played 906 consecutive games.
  • 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.
  • 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 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers, 1986–87 Los Angeles Clippers, and 1992–93 Dallas Mavericks (plus subsequently the 2009–10 Nets and 2015–16 76ers) 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 who missed the playoffs had 55 or more losses. Four of them lost more than 62 games. The ninth-placed Sacramento Kings finished the season with a 27–55 record, losing nineteen of their last twenty games. The Kings finished fourteen games behind the #8 seeded Houston Rockets at 41–41, whilst the tenth-placed Dallas Mavericks ended with a 20–62 record. All the Eastern Conference teams who missed the playoffs had thirty or more wins except for the Toronto Raptors, who finished with a 16–66 record.
  • Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner became the first two female officials in NBA history (as well as any of the four major professional sports leagues). Kantner would be fired following the 2001-02 season, while Palmer would go on to have long 19-year career before retiring after the 2015-16 season.
  • By conference


  • 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

    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.

    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 – Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • G – Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
  • 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 Mutombo, 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 Mutombo, 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

    Player of the week

    The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.

    Player of the month

    The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.

    Rookie of the month

    The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.

    Coach of the month

    The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.


    1997–98 NBA season Wikipedia

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