Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing are the only 1990s NBA stars to have led their teams to Game 7s against Michael Jordan’s Bulls.
In the 1998 Eastern Conference Play-offs Larry Bird’s Pacers were facing the reigning NBA Champions Chicago Bulls who were looking to 3-peat for the 2nd time, coached by Phil Jackson.
The Chicago Bulls were set for “the last dance”. Beating a certain Michael Jordan mandates that a godly effort was needed, and godly did Miller perform.
Bulls would have had a different ending to their last dance if Reggie didn’t sprain his ankle.
“Reggie Miller has hit more shots in crucial times than about anybody I’ve ever seen”: Larry Bird
Bulls lead 2-0 to start their Eastern Conference Finals and were looking to sweep the Pacers, but Reggie had other plans, he took the series by storm from there.
He earned that confidence by upsetting the Cavs and the Knicks before reaching Conference Finals.
“Miller-time” scored 13 of his 28 points in the final four and half minutes of the 107-105 Game 3 win over Bulls, despite a sprained ankle. Series was at 2-1.
In Game 4, Jordan locked him down, but him being Reggie, rocked Jordan off balance with his hands to break loose and shot the dagger, a 3-pointer, with 2.7 seconds remaining that gave the Pacers a 2 point victory to draw the series 2-2.
Both teams would then split a game each in their respective homes, and again in a tightly contested game 7, Bulls held on to a small lead and locked it down defensively to reach their 6th Finals in 8 years.
The Pacers would again reach the Conference Finals the following year but this time to get upset by the New York Nicks.
They would finally get to the NBA Finals in 2000 just to face Phil Jackson again but with his other two future Hall of Farmers in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Pacers lost the Finals but Reggie Miller was iced as a Hall of Famer.
“When you talk about his kind of game, there are only one or two other guys in the same circle” Pat Riley, during Reggie’s Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Win a championship or not, when you are considered one of the greatest by these many All-time greats, you’ve won everything.