VIDEO: Michael Jordan – The Last Shot in Final Bulls Game vs Utah Jazz (1998)

We’ve seen, reviewed, and seen again these images, but 23 years ago, on June 14, 1998, Bryon Russell made history, and Jerry Sloan indulged in this compliment on Michael Jordan. The best player in history has just put the finishing touches (we think) to his incredible career.


 » Sink or swim  »

If Bryon Russell has his quarter of an hour of glory, it is not for a basket from elsewhere or an exceptional performance, but because he was defending against Michael Jordan in the last basket of the 1998 Finals.

That day, however, the Bulls were in bad shape. Scottie Pippen’s back in sauce, Michael Jordan is tired, and the Jazz are not far from equalizing and pushing the defending champions into a Game 7.

With one minute remaining, Utah is leading an 86-83, and it’s pretty much in the pocket. Except that in three actions, including an interception on Karl Malone, « His Highness » will kill the game, and give himself a second hat-trick.

« I had no choice but to go or die, » said Michael Jordan after the game. « I let the clock tick until I got to my favorite place. As soon as Russell hit me, he made it easy for me. I did my drive, and he bit into the sham. I could see the basket perfectly.  »

The result is known: the ball bursts the net, and Michael Jordan (45 points) keeps his hand stretched towards the ceiling.

« When the room gets quiet you know it’s good, » concludes Michael Jordan, who has no idea it will be his last shot for the Bulls.

The sports photo of the century
Legendary action, according to fans, the most beautiful in playoff history, immortalized by Fernando Medina, an NBA photographer. A photo that became in 2012, according to Sports Illustrated, the most beautiful in the history of sport.

« I had heard the device take the snapshot but I was not sure. When I got to the lab, no one had taken it yet. I found it in a box, it was the first time I had seen it. The second time around was when ESPN Magazine picked it up. It was the first time that I was really proud of a photo.  »


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