SALT LAKE CITY — June 14, 1998 is a day Utah Jazz fans will never forget.
With less than 10 seconds remaining, Bryon Russell found himself matched up against Michael Jordan alone at the top of the key in Game 6 with the championship on the line.
Jordan started to drive right then pulled back after a slight nudge for a 17-foot jumper that propelled the Bulls their sixth NBA championship, spoiling Utah’s dreams for the second straight season.
That storybook ending to Jordan’s Bulls career would simply become known as “The Last Shot” as he left his form in the air briefly for good measure.
“I think it was a very defining moment of what my career was in Chicago,” Jordan told Ahmad Rashad in a rare 2013 one-on-one interview.
For some folks in Utah the pain of that game-winning jumper still feels fresh, but it’s not hard for Jazz great John Stockton to believe that it happened two decades ago at the Delta Center — now Vivint Arena,
“Yeah, it does when you look at your grandkids,” a smirking John Stockton told the Deseret News.
Capitalizing on the moment, the Jordan Brand will release the iconic black/red Air Jordan 14 sneakers that Jordan wore during his final Bulls game this summer.
Jordan’s shoes will get released on June 14 — the exact date of his shot — as part of Nike’s Art Of A Champion collection for $190.
The concept of Nike’s basketball pack is to release 16 notable retro sneakers throughout the postseason to symbolize the 16 wins that it takes to become an NBA champion while also highlighting significant moments in the careers of legendary athletes along the way.
The Jordan Brand is also planning an Air Jordan 32 “Last Shot” low top sneaker for June 9th that will be released separately from the collection.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr was one of Jordan’s Bulls teammates who witnessed the shot and celebration right beside him.
“I know he broke a lot of hearts that night in Utah but those were some great days for the NBA,” Kerr said. “Stockton, Malone, Hornacek, Pippen, Jordan, Rodman, so I feel lucky to have been a part of that.”