#MJMondays: Michael Jordan Owns The 1998 NBA All-Star Game

April 4th, 2016 by / 0

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With his career as a Chicago Bull coming to a close, Michael Jordan dialed up one of his classic performances at the 1998 NBA All-Star Game.

Fresh off the 1997 title win, conventional wisdom held that the 1997-98 season was likely going to be Michael Jordan’s last. And not because he couldn’t still play.

Rather, the system in place around him was crumbling. Multiple contracts were maturing for the Bulls, and friction between coach Phil Jackson and the hardline Bulls front office was stretching their working relationship to its breaking point.

The prospect of a waning Bulls era provided some subtext to the ’98 All-Star Game, with NBC adding on to the story with a constructed Kobe Bryant versus Michael Jordan angle meant to induce a passing of the torch ahead of Jordan’s expected retirement.

That may have been the company line but Jordan didn’t volunteer to feed the narrative. He played to win, racking up 23 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and three steals to lead the East over the West, 135-114. He also earned the All-Star Game MVP, his third and final.

Air Jordan 13 in Black/True Red-White – which would be Jordan’s playoff shoe for home games a couple of months later – provided the sneaker heat.

Check some of MJ’s highlights from his ’98 All-Star performance, and stay tuned for more #MJMondays.

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