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1997 NBA Championship Ring



1997 NBA Championship Ring

The 1990s were an explosive time for the NBA, with the rise of Michael Jordan’s stardom and the dynasty that became the Chicago Bulls. With aging stars from the 80s like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson coming out of the league in the early 90s, Jordan and the Bulls were able to dominate against franchises that had been bullying them for years. They came up against the Jazz for the 1997 NBA Championship ring.


The 1997 NBA Finals

The Chicago Bulls were at the peak of their powers, after 3-peating in 1991-1993 and winning the previous year in 1996, they were daring any team to take them on. The Utah Jazz had a roster fronted by Hall of Fame power forward and 1997 NBA MVP, Karl “Mailman” Malone and playmaking point guard, John Stockton. They reached a franchise record 64 wins that season and came out with the Western Conference Finals Championship.

The Chicago Bulls went 62-20 in the regular season and finished 1st in the Central Division. Jordan obtained his 10th scoring title averaging 28.7 points per game. The Bulls now had a roster filled with rebounding Power Forward Dennis Rodman, perennial All Star wing Scottie Pippin, leathal shooter Steve Kerr and Toni Kukoc.

Game 1

Game 1 of the NBA Finals was a close battle of the teams stars. In the last minute, Pippin hits a 3 to go up and John Stockton immediately answers with a 3 of his own, putting Utah up 82-81. Rodman fouls which puts Karl Malone at the line where he misses both free throws. With less than 10 seconds to go Jordan is inbounded the ball, goes towards the basket, stops and knocks down a midrange jumper to win the game.

Game 1 Highlights

Game 2

Game 2 was another master class by Jordan. He put up 39 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists. The Bulls dominated the Jazz and it never looked like much of a contest after the 1st quarter. Karl Malone only made 6-20 field goals and the Bulls won 97 – 85, coffin nailed in with a Dennis Rodman 3.

Game 2 Highlights

Game 3

When the venues switched and Utah were at home, the crowd gave the team a much needed boost. Scottie Pippin hit a record (at the time) 7 3 pointers. However, the Bulls did not play like a team that wanted to put the series away. Karl Malone finished the game with 37 points and 10 rebounds. The Jazz won the game 104 – 93 even though the Bulls cut the lead from 24 points to 7 in the 4th quarter.

In the post game, Rodman made a remark about mormons that got him fined $50,000 by the NBA – clearly upset about his bad play. He finished the game with 0 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

Michael Jordan finished the game with 26 points and Scottie finished with 27 points.

Game 3 highlights

Game 4

Game 4 was back in Utah and was neck and neck with multiple lead changes throughout. At the end of the game, Karl Malone scored 2 free throws to put the Jazz up 3. Jordan missed a potential game tying 3 and the Jazz got an easy dunk to put the game out of reach. The Jazz won Game 4:  78 – 73.

Game 4 Highlights

Game 5

Game 5 of the 1997 Finals will forever been known as ‘The Flu Game’. According to Michael Jordan himself, he ordered a pizza the evening before Game 5 to his hotel room from a Utah pizza restaurant. He spent all night vomiting, turning up to the game dehydrated and barely able to stand. Jordan started slow, but score 17 points in the second quarter. Jordan helped the Bulls erase a 8 point lead by going on a 10 – 0 run. He scored a 3 to put the Bulls up and they won the game 90 – 88.

Game 5 Highlights

Game 6

Steve Kerr hit the game winner of Game 6 in spectacular fashion as Michael was being doubled by the Jazz.

Steve Kerr’s famous Game 6 shot:

1997 Chicago Bulls Championship Parade

Steve Kerr explains the final shot at the Championship parade in Chicago jokingly saying,

‘There’s been some misconceptions about what actually happened I wanted to clear it up. When we called timeout with 20 seconds to go, we went into the huddle.. Phil told Michael I want you to take the last shot and Michael said Phil I told feel comfortable in these situations, so maybe we ought to go in another direction. Why don’t we go to Steve. So I thought to myself well I guess I’ve got to bail Michael out again.”

What actually happened was Jordan knew the Jazz were going to double him so he told Steve Kerr in the huddle,

“When the double comes, be ready”

This is how Kerr knew to be ready and knock down the 2 point shot to win the game.

The 1997 NBA Championship ring

The 1997 NBA Championship ring has the famous Chicago Bulls branding of the angry bull encrusted in diamonds. On one side the words read, ‘World Champions team of the decade 96 97’ with the NBA logo. On the other side of Michael Jordan’s ring, the words ‘Jordan’ appear with an image of 5 Larry O’Brien Championship trophies symbolizing the 5 championships won by Michael Jordan to this point.

1997 NBA Championship Ring

1997 NBA Championship Ring Photo by Chad Bunger Flickr


The Ring Ceremony

The Chicago Bulls ring ceremony was held on November 1st 1997, before the Bulls played the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center.

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