LAS VEGAS, Nev. --Michael Jordan's final career basket, his last-second victory shot in game six of the 1998 NBA Championship, created the defining moment in American sports history.
No other item is more important or as powerful a symbol of American Professional Sports history as the Utah Jazz basketball court where Jordan's ultimate moment of glory took place. In a truly one-of-kind event, Collectors Universe is offering the entire basketball court, including both baskets in their entirety, used by the Utah Jazz in the 1997, 1998, and 1999 NBA seasons. There are 196, 4' X 8' floor sections and 14, 4' X 4' sections. The court encompasses 6,720 sq. feet adn weighs 40,000 pounds. Both official NBA baskets, including the hoops, backboards, and entire motorized stands are included in this auction.
The last-second victory... the ultimate sports thrill. Watching Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, or John Elway drive their team towards victory in the last minute of the game... watching the last shot of a tight basketball game as the seconds click off the clock... holding your breath for every shot on goal in overtime of a hockey game... staring at a birdie putt rolling towards the hole during a playoff... watching a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth. The last-second victory is the essence of the American sports experience.
All of this century's American sports heroes have been responsible for their share of last-second victories. But how many of this country's greatest athletes ended their career with a last-second victory?
Ted Williams hit a home run in the last at bat of his career. A storybook ending to the career of one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. But that home run was not a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series. And Wayne Gretzky's last shot as a hockey player wasn't a game-winning goal in overtime to win the Stanley Cup finals. Jack Nicklaus' last professional golf shot wasn't a holed out two iron for an eagle on 18 to win the U.S. Open by one stroke. But there is one all-time great athlete that was responsible for a last second championship victory in the final moments of his career.
The Last Shot
Game Six -- the 1998 NBA Championship -- the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City against the Chicago Bulls, who were trailing the Jazz by one point in the final seconds. With Dennis Rodman guarding Karl Malone, Jordan came out of nowhere to strip the ball from Malone, moments later, with only 5.2 seconds left in the game, fans everywhere held their breath as Jordan buried the game winning shot, an 18-footer, to pull the trailing Bulls ahead and clinch the title. The Bulls win the NBA Championship four games to two. Jordan's contribution: 45 points in the last game, including Chicago's final eight, including the greatest career-final play in basketball history.
Jordan had many last-second victory shots in his career, a tribute to his talent, a tribute to his incredible ability to perform when everything was on the line. Jordan is not only the greatest basketball player of all-time; he is arguably the greatest athlete of the 20th century. As 1999 turns into the year 2000, the "Greatest of the Century" lists will pound the American psyche both in print and on your TV screen. Many writers, historians, and fans already agree that Jordan's name should be at the top of the Greatest Athlete's of the 20th Century list. The list of challengers is short but consists of some truly breath-taking names...
Babe Ruth... Jim Thorpe... Wayne Gretzky... Muhammad Ali
Michael Jordan was so dominate... so talented... such a winner... that his name rises to the top of even that list. Indeed, he has left the American public in total awe. Even in retirement, he remains the biggest name in professional sports and the most recognized athlete in the world.