Skip to main content

MJ'S WORST "LAST DANCE" PERFORMANCE Even the best have horrible nights

jordan

The 1997-98 Golden State Warriors’ season will be remembered for an ugly practice incident on December 1st, 1997, when the team's leading star, Latrell Sprewell, choked head coach P.J. Carlesimo. After the incident, Sprewell famously said“I wasn’t choking P.J. that hard. I mean, he could breathe.”

A few months later, with the 1996 and 1997 NBA champions in town, the Warriors did their best to put all of the controversies behind them and entirely focus on the game against Jordan & Co.

The future 1997-98 Central Division champions with a 62-20 record were already steaming by that point of the season - at the time of their arrival in Oakland, they held a respectable 33-13 record.

However, the Warriors, regardless of their 8-35 record at the moment, weren't impressed, and they started to add pressure from early on in the game. The starting backcourt of Brian Shaw and Bimbo Coles didn't have any of Jordan's athleticism and charisma, but what they did have was plenty of experience in how to deal defensively with Mr. Jordan and make him look more human at certain times.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

That night, they were up to the task, and so was 2nd year pro Tony Delk. But also, each time MJ went around the Warriors perimeter defense, there were 2-3 pairs of hands waiting for him in the lane, with the specific task of stopping him at all cost. At the time, the Warriors frontcourt unit consisted of respectable shot-blockers/alternators: C Erick Dampier, PF Donyell Marshall, and PF/C Adonal Foyle.

Numbers don't lie - on that particular night, MJ played a total of 41 minutes and scored just 14 points, to go along with 8 boards, 3 dimes and 3 steals. But what particularly stands out is the fact that MJ made only 2-17 field goal attempts (Jordan's career-low with the Bulls, both in the regular season and the play-offs) and made the majority of his points by hitting 10-11 of his attempts from behind the charity stripe!

But to Jordan's delight, Scottie Pippen managed to overcome his scoring slump and scored 22 points (even though he shot just 8-23 from the field), Luc Longley added 16 points, and Dennis Rodman pulled off a game-high 22 boards for the Bulls, who managed to pull off an 87-80 away victory in Oakland.

Two nights later, on February 1st, 1998, in Los Angeles, it was the Lakers led by Shaquille O'Neal, who presented the Bulls an actual championship character test. They blew the Bulls out of the Great Western Forum with a 112-87 trashing. Overall, it was the Bulls’ second-largest loss of the 1997-98 season - the first one came on January 7th, 1998 in Miami when the Heat beat the Pippen-less Bulls by 27-points margin (99-72).

After posting a 62-20 regular-season record, the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen went on to win their third consecutive NBA championship title, the 6th one since 1991.

bill-russell-shaq-min

Bill Russell once explained how he would defend Shaq: "He has to carry that weight up and down!"

A duel between the most dominant big man ever and the best defensive player in history would be a true showdown.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Most epic on-court trash talk moments caught on camera

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James all dropped epic lines to hush their foes.

Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks

One-hit wonder — whatever happened to Houston Rockets’ Aaron Brooks?

Aaron Brooks played like an All-Star player in 2009-2010 season. However, his performances dipped due to injuries and alleged attitude problems.

Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller, Utah Jazz guard John Stockton, Scottie Pippen forward Chicago Bulls

Reggie Miller on why Scottie Pippen was the X-Factor in the Bulls' NBA Finals wins against the Jazz

Scottie Pippen has literally contained the best point guards in NBA history.

San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan, center David Robinson and center Kevin Willis

”We might not want to grab him” - Kevin Willis says Tim Duncan and David Robinson hesitated to throw him into a pool when he first arrived in San Antonio

Former San Antonio Spurs center Kevin Willis recalled his hilarious and epic first meeting with Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“There are many days I don't want to be around people and I'm a nasty person” — Michael Jordan opens up about why he doesn’t like showing himself to the public

Throughout his playing days, Michael Jordan hinted why he prefers to stay away from the public spotlight, and true enough, he carries that persona in retirement.

ben-simmons-russell-westbrook-min

Ben Simmons gets heated after a fan roasts him to his face: "Hey Russell Westbrook! Can't shoot bro?"

The comedian known for clowning NBA players went up to Simmons at the mall, but the Nets star was not having it.