The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1998 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Finish of the 1997–98 NBA season.
The Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls played against the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz, together with the Jazz holding home-court edge with the first 2 games in Salt Lake City. In a repeat of the preceding year’s Finals, the Bulls won the series 4 games to 2 for their third consecutive NBA title and their sixth in eight seasons. Michael Jordan was voted the NBA Finals MVP of this series (he also had won the award the last five times the Bulls won the Finals: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, and 1997). This could be his sixth NBA championship and sixth Finals MVP award in six full basketball seasons. Until 2014, it was the final consecutive Finals rematch between two teams.
The 1998 Finals gained the highest Nielsen TV ratings in NBA history at 18.7, and also surpassed the Nielsen ratings for the 1998 World Series, marking the first time the NBA had a higher score in its tournament round compared to Major League Baseball’s championship around.
Until 2012, this has been the latest closing played entirely outside of Texas and California.
The show marked the first time since 1989 the exact same two teams met in the Finals in consecutive years. The Jazz earned the league’s best album by virtue of crossing the two-game regular season series with the Bulls despite the two teams ending 62 wins. In the playoffs, the Celtics had been pushed to the verge by the Houston Rockets before winning Game 5 in Utah, and then overcame Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 4–1. Then they swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Bulls swept the New Jersey Nets and then took the Charlotte Hornets in five, but it took seven games to conquer the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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