Michael Jordan revealed how he had absolutely no intentions of passing the ball to anyone else to take the clutch shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals over Utah Jazz.
Michael Jordan is easily one of the greatest players the league has ever witnessed. Apart from being one of the most impactful players, Mike was considered a basketball god. Till today, fans rave about his insane gameplay and achievements.
It was because of Michael that the Chicago Bulls franchise is one of the greatest dynasties in history. Of course, with the help from stars like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, MJ helped the Bulls be the most dominant team in the 1990s.
Winning two successful three-peats, finishing a season with a flawless 72-10 record, there was virtually nothing that the Bulls hadn’t achieved because of their leader.
In his illustrious 15-year career, Jordan had several notable moments. His first championship, his Father’s Day performance, the Shrug, his career-high 69 points against the Cavs, the Flu Game, and the Dream Team among many more. One such performance which stands out in Michael’s incredible career is his famous championship-winning shot over Bryon Russell of the Jazz to help Bulls win the 1998 NBA Finals.
“I had no intention of passing the ball under any circumstances”: Michael Jordan on taking the Bulls last shot in the 1998 NBA Finals
Entering Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Chicago held a 3-2 lead. However, the Jazz looked to be a more dominant team throughout the course of the game. The match came down to the wire. With around 20 seconds left on the clock, Mike stole the ball from Karl Malone. And on the other end crossed up Bryon Russell to convert the championship-winning clutch shot.
According to His Airness, he had absolutely no intentions of passing the ball to any of his teammates to take that clutch shot. Air Jordan disclosed to Jack M Silverstein:
“I had no intention of passing the ball under any circumstances, I figured I stole the ball and it was my opportunity to win or lose the game. I would have taken that shot with five people on me, I stopped, pulled up, and had an easy jump shot. Ironically, I have problems going to my right for a stop, pull-up jumper because I have a tendency to come up short. I normally fade a little. But on this shot, I didn’t want to fade because all my jump shots had been short. Think about that.”
To this day, hardcore Utah fans and MJ haters believe that Jordan had slightly pushed Russell for that wide open shot. However, in the final episode of “The Last Dance”, Michael shut everyone once and for all:
“Everybody says I pushed off. Bulls***,” Jordan said. “His energy was going that way. I didn’t have to push him that way.”
Clearly, Jordan was the man in-form for the Bulls. And everyone would be glad MJ had this tad-bit selfish mentality going to the final play of his Chicago Bulls career.