Michael Jordan owns a number of the most famous shots in basketball history. Arguably none of them are more famous than the bucket he made in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, in which he pulled up from the free throw line and drew nothing but net to put the Chicago Bulls ahead of the Utah Jazz for good en route to their sixth championship and their second three-peat.
Episode 10 of The Last Dance spent a whole lot of time on both this shot and the sequence leading up to it. Jordan famously hit a shot to put Chicago within one, then stripped Karl Malone on the other end. On the way back down the floor, his teammates knew what was coming.
“Get the hell out the way,” Scottie Pippen said.
“He is not gonna pass this f*ckin’ ball,” Dennis Rodman remarked.
Jordan went 1-on-1 with Bryon Russell and, to quote the great Stuart Scott, was as cool as the other side of the pillow. From the moment that happened, there’s been a bit of controversy, as plenty of folks argue that Jordan should have been hit with a foul for pushing off against Scott. Jordan was asked about this and answered it in the most Jordan way possible.
“Everybody said I pushed off,” Jordan said. “Bullshit. The man, his energy was going that way, I didn’t have to push him that way.”
Bob Costas, who called the game for NBC, agreed with Jordan’s assessment, saying he didn’t push as much as Russell was already headed that way, anyway. This will not convince most people, because there’s no way Jordan would admit he got away with one, but as the saying goes, it’s not a foul if the ref doesn’t call it.