The 1997-98 season was one of the most intriguing years of the decade, as there were four legitimate championship contenders. The Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Seattle SuperSonics all feasibly could have won it all. This also came in a year where the NBA once again expanded to 29 teams.
The Bulls road to the Finals was relatively simple, as the Indiana Pacers were the only team capable of giving them any trouble. However, they could not get it done as the Bulls got to their third straight Finals despite ongoing rifts within the team.
The Western Conference saw the Lakers and Jazz reach the conference finals. However, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were not yet ready to win it all, getting swept by Utah.
This set up a Finals rematch in 1998, and the Jazz felt they needed to win this one in the worst way. It was an immensely hard fought series, but once again, the Jazz could not even push Jordan to a seventh game, as the Bulls won in six. They took home their third consecutive championship and their sixth in eight years.
NBA regular season statistics
NBA regular season schedule and results
NBA playoffs statistics
NBA playoffs schedule and results