The six words of trash talk that made 'The Last Dance' possible


MICHAEL JORDAN MISSED. With 35.8 seconds left in Game 1 of the 1997 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, the greatest player in NBA history actually just bricked what should have been the winning free throw. And now, for roughly 26 seconds, the basketball world is in chaos: Jordan is, for the time being, Err Jordan, a lowercase goat, and the voters who had narrowly selected Utah forward Karl Malone over Michael (986-957) for league MVP seem to have gotten it right. Meanwhile, the Jazz are poised to steal Game 1 along with home-court advantage, and Chicago's fifth title and eventual second three-peat are suddenly in jeopardy.

And then, to the rescue steps Scottie Pippen.

🏀 This is a pretty great oral history of an unlikely and under appreciated moment that completely shifted the dynamic of the 1997 NBA Finals. Fitting that it involves Pippen, the all-time great forever overshadowed by Jordan.