This week on the Over and Back Classic NBA Podcast, Jason Mann and Rich Kraetsch continue their NBA 20 Years Ago series with a look at the news, notes and games of the NBA 20 Years Ago. This episode will focus primarily on the 1998 NBA Playoffs featuring an upstart Los Angeles Lakers team, Karl Malone, John Stockton and the Utah Jazz looking to get back to the NBA Finals and Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' last stand as they try for a three-peat repeat.
In this episode, we'll cover each 1998 NBA Playoff series including most prominent games, news and notes surrounding the games and top performers in each series. Highlights include Shawn Kemp's stellar contributions to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New Jersey Nets nearly pulling off a Game 1 upset against the Bulls, Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves giving George Karl and the Seattle Supersonics a scare, the New York Knicks and Miami Heat reviving their playoff rivalry and fisticuffs, a series of boring 4-1 Conference Semifinal matchups, Indiana taking the Bulls to seven games and of course, Jordan's iconic final shot and the highest-rated NBA Finals in history.
We'll also chime in with news, notes and NBA season award winners along the way including the firing of Karl in Seattle, Atlanta's Alan Henderson winning Most Improved Player, Danny Manning's semi-controversial Sixth Man of the Year award, the unknown to us before today IBM Award and how the award winner was determined, All-NBA teams and of course, Most Valuable Player.
Last but not least, we look at the beginning of the NBA Lockout, which player was first to miss a game-check and what the rest of the summer could hold for the NBA, its players, its owners and the fans.
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