VICTORIAM | PART II
VICTORIAM | PART II
April 11, 06:36 PM GMT
500,000 - 700,000 USD
NIKE MESH JERSEY
SIZE 50 + 4 INCHES
‘The Last Dance’ was Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls (1997-1998) and is perhaps the most beloved period in Jordan folklore, as Michael reached the apex of his popularity and powers while simultaneously conquering major internal divisions that were fracturing the team dynamics of the late 90s Chicago Bulls. The season is referred to as The Last Dance in large part due to the smash-hit ESPN documentary of the same name, which chronicled the Bulls efforts in the 1997-1998 season. The players were cognizant that the roster would ultimately be disbanded at the end of the season and knew it was their final opportunity to capture a 6th Bulls Championship of the decade. The Last Dance was Michael Jordan’s ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete – a testament to him as a competitor, a sportsman, a teammate, and ultimately, a champion.
The fairytale season culminated in a rematch of the 1997 NBA Finals with the Bulls squaring off against John Stockton, Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz. In Game 6, with the Bulls leading the series 3-2, Jordan famously came up with a last-minute steal before sinking a game-winning jumper in the closing seconds. It was a picture-perfect ending that only ‘His Airness’ could have delivered. At the conclusion of the game, Jordan was named Finals MVP for an all-time record 6th time.
Jordan wore this jersey in two games during that magical 1997-1998 NBA season. He led the Bulls to the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference with a 62-20 record with season averages of 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. MJ captured his league-record 10th scoring title and collected his 5th MVP award.
This Michael Jordan 1997-1998 home Chicago Bulls jersey has been photomatched by The MeiGray Group, Resolution Photomatching, and Sports Investors Authentication to February 28, 1998. On that date, the Bulls defeated the Sacramento Kings 109-94. Jordan recorded 28 points and added 2 rebounds and 2 assists in the win.
In addition, the jersey was also photomatched to March 3, 1998 by Resolution and Sports Investors Authentication. On that date, the Bulls defeated the Denver Nuggets 118-90. Jordan contributed a game-high 30 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the victory.
Altogether, Michael Jordan scored 58 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists while wearing this Chicago Bulls home jersey in at least two games during his famed Last Dance season.
Going Deeper | The Dynamics of the 1997-1998 Season
There was no love lost between Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause. Krause – who had an undeniable talent for picking winning teams and players – did not get along with the key people that made the Chicago Bulls so dangerous: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson. This division ultimately hit a breaking point when Krause mandated that the 1997-1998 season would be Phil Jackson’s last with the Bulls. As Jordan refused to play for anyone but Jackson, Krause’s move would ultimately break apart the Bulls dynasty, and imbued the 1997-1998 season with a sense of finality and urgency.
Jackson recalled being told the news: “Jerry called me into his office and said, 'This is going to be your last year, I don't care if you win 82 games in a row, this will be your last year here'.”
"So I said, 'Fine' and walked out of the room, and that was the only words that were exchanged."
Mr. Krause said many things surrounding the 1997-1998 season. Among the most disturbing to Jordan specifically was that the team needed to be “rebuilt” and that “Players don't win championships, organizations do.” Krause later refuted the quote.
In Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech more than 10 years later in 2009, Jordan still seemed irked by Krause’s words stating, “I don’t know who invited him. I didn’t… he said organizations win championships. I said I didn’t see organizations playing with the Flu in Utah. I didn’t see them playing – you know – with a bad ankle.”
Ultimately, perhaps the tension within the team and the adversity Jordan faced pushed him even further – as it was known to do for Jordan – to his 6th NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls.
The jersey is accompanied by a photomatch letter and photomatch graphics from The MeiGray Group, Resolution Photomatching, and Sports Investors Authentication along with a letter from James Spence Authentication regarding the signature.
A letter from the Chicago Bulls, regarding the jersey's original sale through the team's charitable foundation, and which mentions Jordan's signature and "Best wishes" inscription, is also included.